TROY — For any family who avidly watches American Ninja Warrior, the Rec in downtown Troy was the place to spend the weekend, as the center hosted the “Troy Rec Ninja Obstacle Challenge” on Friday and Saturday.
This marked the first year the Rec has held the event.
“We wanted to conduct a fundraiser, and were looking for something that would fit our mission in working with kids,” said Kelly Snyder, Executive Director of the Troy Rec. “We landed on this as being a very popular thing — American Ninja Warrior is very popular. We heard about Dan Arnold, who owns the mobile course, so we contacted him about running a competition for us as a fundraiser.”
“We’ve been offering this course out at different events for about a year,” Dan Arnold, who owns Ninja Obstacle Parties in Huber Heights. “I love setting up the obstacles for the kids, and giving them different challenges to work through. They basically have to think through their plan and work through it. Each obstacle is a little different, and it doesn’t take brute force or strength to get through the course. Kids really have to plan and strategize on how they’ll do it.”
Over 110 children pre-registered for the Saturday competition, and over 200 children attended the open gym event on Friday evening. Pre-registration included custom t-shirts featuring the event logo.
The Saturday competition split participating kids into age groups, spanning age 5-14. Each participant competed for the best time in running the course, with the top five competing for a grand prize in a children’s final.
An adult competition was also held for participants age 15 and up, with an adult final following for the top ten contestants.
Prizes included $50 gift cards and trophies for winners.
Based on the positive response of the Ninja Obstacle Challenge, Snyder said the staff would love to reprise the event in years to come.
“It’s been very popular, and we’ve gotten tons of traffic,” Snyder said. “What’s neat is that we’ve brought in a lot of people who’ve never been to the Rec before. For us, just getting more exposure is good.”
The Troy Rec Ninja Obstacle Challenge is sponsored by Premier Health, Cori Graphics, ITW Foundation, Steve and Marty Baker, Trojan City Music, and WACO Air Museum and Learning Center.
For more information, visit www.troyrec.com, or find Ninja Obstacle Parties on Facebook.