Meijer State Games of Michigan Athlete Spotlight:

Walleman Family, Track & Field

By: Zoe Harmon

The Meijer State Games of Michigan is a family affair for the Wallemanís. The participants of the family are Adam (39), Kimm (39), and their children Reid (14) and Jade (11). With four active competitors, the family enjoys participating in the Game for the family-friendly competition.

In the 2016 Winter Games, all four Wallemanís competed in the Virtual Rowing competition, but this is not the only sport they compete in. As a matter of fact, their participation in the Meijer State Games of Michigan started with Reid, who first competed in fencing and hockey. Reid had a great experience in both. He shared, ďI did not know the State Games was such a big event when I competed in fencing. I found out about the State Games hockey tournament from a former teammate during casual conversation. After the first year of hockey, I was hooked.Ē

Since he had such a rewarding experience in both events, Kimm signed him up for the track and field event in the 2014 Meijer State Games of Michigan.

As she was signing him up, she noticed that the whole family could participate. Kimm noted, ďI immediately signed up myself and my daughter, but could not persuade my husband that year. My son and I had so much fun training together at the school track and teaching Jade how to do the events.Ē

Jade recalls having a great time learning how to run and throw the shot put and javelin from her mom and brother. In 2014, she was won the Athlete of the Year Award. During the awards ceremony, it was brought to Kimmís attention that the family could participate in Virtual Rowing from the comfort of their home. The Wallemanís were immediately sold.

After using the rowing machine at his fire department, Adam decided to buy one for the familyís house. He brought it home and taught the family how to use it. All four Wallemanís having been participating in the Virtual Rowing and Track and Field events since 2014. They plan to continue the tradition for years to come.

When the Wallemanís arenít competing in the Meijer State Games of Michigan, they enjoy staying active in a variety of sports and activities. Adam, who is a firefighter and builder, played travel hockey and baseball when he was growing up. He still plays adult hockey, usually with other firefighters. When he has spare time, Adam enjoys hunting, fishing, archery, and riding ATVís and snowmobiles.

Kimm, who is currently a physical therapist, played volleyball, track and field, cross country, basketball, youth figure skating, and dance. In her spare time, she enjoys arts and crafts. Both Adam and Kimm have inspired their kids to be active as well.

Reid, who is a ninth grade student, plays travel hockey, track and field, fencing, bowling, and baseball. His hobbies include water sports, riding ATVís and snowmobiles, rollerblading, and woodworking. Jade, who is a sixth grade student, plays travel volleyball, softball, fencing, bowling, and track and field. She enjoys arts and crafts and baking.

As a family, the Wallemanís do their best to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They often cook meals at home to keep their healthy eating in check. They also exercise regularly and stay active as a family by playing tennis, riding bikes, and playing outdoor sports together. Both Adam and Kimm have made it a priority to educate their kids on the importance of proper nutrition and physical fitness.

Adam and Kimm have also educated their kids about maintaining proper sportsmanship when participating in sports. They encourage Reid and Jade to respect the efforts of their teammates and competitors, to help others if needed, to always give their best, and to maintain a positive attitude. Both kids have shown their outstanding characters as athletes. Recently, Reid was recognized as an exemplary young man after showing kindness and patience to a fellow student with special needs. Reid is also the assistant captain of his hockey team.

As the Wallemanís look to the future of their athletic careers, they hope to continue to succeed during competition. Reidís short term goals are to play on the National Junior Development Hockey Team and to play college hockey. Jadeís short term goals are to play volleyball and track and field for her school.

The Meijer State Games of Michigan has truly inspired the Wallemanís to compete in events as a family. Not only does this keep them active, but it gives them an opportunity to spend time together and encourage each other to reach their full potential. It will be exciting to see where sports take this athletic family.
Interested in Track & Field?
The Meijer State Games of Michigan is a multi-sport, Olympic-style event(s) that welcome athletes regardless of age or ability level. The Games embody the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living.
In August 2017, the Meijer State Games of Michigan will play host to the
2017 State Games of America.
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