Downriver and Dearborn area schools that place a high priority on youth fitness are encouraged to apply for an opportunity to earn a $100,000 fitness center.
Continuing his goal of ending childhood obesity, fitness icon Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils, has kicked off 2019 by selecting the state of Michigan for the foundation’s Don’t Quit! fitness campaign.
The NFGFC will deliver a state-of-the-art Don’t Quit! Fitness Center to three schools for demonstrating leadership in getting and keeping their students fit.
School nominations will be accepted through March 22.
All schools need to do is fill out a short application and include a written essay or short video. Download your state application at http://natgovfit.org/nominate-your-school/.
“Childhood obesity is a serious problem that can follow a child into adulthood,” Steinfeld said. “I’ve declared war on this preventable disease and it’s inspiring to see elected leaders like Gov. Gretchen Whitmer immediately jump on board to join the battle and welcome us into their state. Every governor we’ve partnered with recognizes that obesity is neither a Democratic nor Republican issue; it’s a kids’ issue and all have vowed to do everything possible to help.”
To date, fitness centers have been delivered to 28 states and Washington, D.C. Steinfeld called the response from students, teachers and the community “unbelievable.”
“Kids are excited about working out and being physically active and, as a result, their academic performance and self-esteem have skyrocketed,” he said. “Now, Michigan schools have an opportunity to make a change that will have a lasting impact on kids well into their future.”
Whitmer agreed with that assessment.
“I’m thrilled that Jake Steinfeld and the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils has chosen to partner with Michigan to help improve the health and lives of children in our state,” the governor said. “I encourage every elementary and middle school in the state to apply for this gift that will pay long-term dividends.”
The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils program will make its way into all 50 states in the coming years. Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Anthem Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding.
TuffStuff Fitness International provides all the fitness equipment, which is manufactured in the United States. The Foundation’s goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.
“I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact fitness centers have had on students and their communities,” Steinfeld said. “When you provide schools with the tools and inspiration, you’ll be amazed by the changes that take place. Children are our most precious resource and by providing them with a strong foundation in health and fitness, we can feel confident that they’ll excel beyond their wildest dreams.”
Physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life, and reduce health care costs.
In schools, studies show that physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism, and fosters better interpersonal relationships.
The NFGFC seeks to encourage and reward innovation in the field of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness.
Michigan is one of four new states where fitness centers will be given out in 2019. The others are Rhode Island, Missouri and Minnesota.
For more information about the NFGFC or to download a nomination form, visit www.natgovfit.org.