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Gov. Scott Walker announces partnership with the National Foundation For Governors’ Fitness Council

Wisconsin Elementary and Middle Schools to compete to win three new state-of-the-art fitness centers

Madison – Governor Scott Walker announced today a partnership between Wisconsin and the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) to kick off its National Fitness Champion campaign in Wisconsin to help fight childhood obesity.  Three Wisconsin schools will be selected by the NFGFC as competition winners, each winning a $100,000 state-of-the-art fitness center for their efforts.

“We’re thrilled Jake Steinfeld and his organization have chosen Wisconsin to participate in its National Fitness Champion campaign,” Governor Walker said.  “Teaching Wisconsin children about the importance of wellness and physical activity is crucial in helping them lead healthy lives into adulthood.  We encourage all elementary and middle schools in Wisconsin to fill out an application to be in the running for a brand new fitness center.”

“I’ve declared war on childhood obesity and it’s inspiring to see elected leaders like Governor Walker immediately jump on board and welcome us into their state to help fight this disease,” said Jake Steinfeld, chair of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils.  “The fight to stop childhood obesity in its tracks is a cause everyone can back.  In fact, every state leader I’ve met with recognizes that obesity is not a partisan issue, it’s a kid’s issue, and all have vowed to do everything possible to help.  Now, Wisconsin schools have an opportunity to make a change that will have a lasting impact on kids well into their future.”

The National Fitness Champion campaign recognizes elementary and middle schools for demonstrating new and innovative ways of introducing physical activity and wellness into their curriculum, and the NFGFC program will make its way throughout all 50 states in the coming years.  Each fitness center awarded as a top prize is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding.  Additionally, TuffStuff Fitness International provides all of the fitness equipment.

“I’ve always said academics and fitness go hand-in-hand,” Jake Steinfeld continued.  “We’re not only building bodies, but most importantly, we are boosting confidence and self-esteem.  I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact fitness centers have had on students and their communities.  When you provide the right tools and the inspiration, you’ll be amazed by the changes that take place.  “Our children are our most precious resource and by providing them with a strong foundation in health and fitness, we can feel confident they’ll excel beyond their wildest dreams.”

Physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat over 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.

NFGFC seeks to encourage and reward innovation in the fields of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness.  The NFGFC envisions a fitness center in every school in the United States, helping to build a nation that boasts the fittest kids in the world.  Since 2012, the NFGFC has delivered fitness centers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, California, New Mexico, Connecticut, Virginia, Illinois, Arkansas, Florida, and Texas.

A copy of the nomination form is attached.  For more information about the NFGFC, visit www.natgovfit.org.

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