At Fit City Kids, we drive fitness through fun!

We believe:

  • Every child deserves to be fit and healthy.
  • In creating a safe space for all children to be active.
  • In approaching everything with a purpose and from a developmental perspective.
  • Learning and fitness should be fun!
  • In investing in children’s futures.

Fit City Kids brings family, fun, and physical education together by providing a unique experience to both kids and parents alike.  Our focus is on our families and making sure kids are having fun and being active! Not only do we have an open- play area where families can drop in at any time to have a blast, but through our classes, each child will create valuable habits in the world of health and fitness.

Fit City Kids promotes a balanced lifestyle for our young athletes by sharing our passion for health and fitness. We are a team of educators and instructors that have a sincere interest in the future of the children we serve. It is our goal to help build and nourish a sturdy foundation for leading healthy, active lifestyles and to share a love of sport and activity.  

Our programs are educational, active, and outrageously fun!  Using child development theories, youth fitness strategies, experienced coaches and the expertise that comes along with years of working with youth of all ages, we created a curriculum that introduces kids to fitness, health and much more. Our program helps develop a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive skills while providing physical exercise and developing well rounded young athletes. The classes and curriculum address the major aspects of fitness: strength, speed, stamina and flexibility to help children stay right on track for their developmental benchmarks.  Most importantly, we deliver results through games, activities, and overall FUN!

Our Experienced Coaching Staff

Russell S., Co-Owner

BA Business Mgt, Pace University, MBA Finance DePaul University

Introducing Russell! He brings numerous athletic and coaching experiences, as well as being an active parent in the youth sports and recreation community. Most importantly, he brings his love for sports, fitness, and healthy living, along with his passion for healthy, happy kids. Through his love for sport and fitness, and with his own children as his inspiration, he set out to build, develop, and bring Fit City Kids to life!

Fun Facts

• Russell has lived in 2 countries, 5 states, and 7 cities!

• Russell loves sports and fitness and has participated in all of the following sports competitively: baseball, basketball, football, swimming, diving, track, crosscountry, and boxing.

• He loves his family, and spends any free time he has playing with his kids!

Brad Claggett, Co-Owner

BA Business and Sports Mgt, Michigan State University

Introducing Brad! Brad brings just over 15 years of experience working in the sports and fitness industry. From working basketball programs at Michigan State and the Detroit Pistons, to helping high school student athletes get recruited, to sales and marketing at family health clubs, to designing athletic apparel, he has been around the block! He has a genuine passion for health and fitness and truly believes that it cannot only be an amazing outlet for children, but also shape their entire character as they develop into amazing young men and women.

Fun Facts

• Brad’s favorite sport is basketball and still is active playing in competitive rec leagues throughout the city.

• His love for music is second to only sports and fitness, and he enjoys exploring the Chicago live music scene, especially small jazz clubs.

• One of his favorite hobbies is photography and loves taking portraits of people all over Chicago

Kari Podany, Director of Programming and Operations

BS in Education, Indiana University & MBA, North Park University

Introducing Kari! Kari brings more than 9 years of experience in sports-based youth development and after school programming. She is excited to bring her expertise in curriculum design, event management, and organizational operations as the Director of Programming and Operations. Her goal is to transform youth lives in a positive way by promoting high-quality programming that encourages youth to have fun, make friends, live healthier lifestyles, and to be the best versions of themselves.

Fun Facts

• A favorite quote of Kari's is by Nelson Mandela, ``It always seems impossible until it's done.``
• In her free time, you can find Kari playing soccer, painting, trying new restaurants and coffee shops around Chicago, or hanging out with her rescue
• Chihuahuas Midnight and Rocky.
• She has also been training hard for the Chicago Marathon and is excited to have her first marathon under her belt.

Kim Bird, Athletic Program Manager

B.S. in Clinical Exercise Science, Grand Valley State University, NSCA-CSCS

Introducing Kim! Kim is a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach. She played D2 Club Soccer at Grand Valley State University and has 9 years of coaching and training experience in a variety of sports. She’s trained kids 6 years and up, high school athletes (both team and individual), designed strength programs for the men’s and women’s club soccer teams at GVSU, and has worked one on one with D1 collegiate and international basketball players. She lives her life by three words: OWN YOUR IMPACT and hopes to use her knowledge and past experiences to create a community where kids, athletes and their families have a safe place to move and learn.

Fun Facts

• She loves to learn new things and I try to incorporate one new thing a year. Last year she started training in Krav Maga and received her yellow belt! This year she wants to take dancing and either learn Spanish or take an art class!

• Kim can't burp! She tries and it just sounds like a baby raptor is trying to escape her throat.

• She loves to travel, try new restaurants, be outdoors with her dog, read, play sports and be active. She’d like to travel to next to the north-east US and then Ireland and Spain.

Jessica Lynch, Sports Program Manager

BA Physical Education, St. Joseph College, Northeastern Illinois

Introducing Jessica! Jessica is super excited to be working with a group of people that share the same passion of working with kids and sports/physical activity! She has been working with children of all ages since 2006, and participated in a wide variety of athletics for over 25 years.
She attended attended St Josephs College in Indiana where she played softball and participated in a wide range of intramural activities as well. After graduation, Jessica became a physical education teacher on the southside of Chicago for Preschool-8th grade. After a few years of teaching she began working as a Director of Operations for a Youth Sports Company. Her passion for youth sports has only grown over the years and she’s looking forward to working with every single participant that walks through our doors.

Fun Facts

• Jessica enjoys spending most of her free time with friends and family.

• She loves vacationing and traveling and getting out and trying new things.

• She loves exploring Chicago and trying out new restaurants as often as possible-recommendations are always welcome!