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NFL Network Launches 2009 National Keep Gym in School Campaign at New York City Middle School; Effort Will Give More U.S. Students Access to Quality Physical Education
Date:9/22/2009

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NFL Network is expanding its Keep Gym in School efforts in response to the latest childhood obesity statistics. Nationwide, childhood obesity has more than tripled since 1980. According to a new study released in 2009 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Trust for America's Health (TAH), the percentage of obese and overweight children is at or above 30% in 30 U.S. states.

At the same time, schools have cut back on Physical Education requirements leaving children less active during the school day than they were in previous years. A joint study by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) found that the percentage of students who attend daily PE dropped from 42% in 1991 to 28% in 2003. The same experts found that fewer than 8% of U.S. middle schools provide daily physical education for the entire school year.

In Keep Gym in School's inaugural year, NFL Network's Jamie Dukes, Scott Hanson, Solomon Wilcots and Hall of Famer Rod Woodson joined the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, and Washington Redskins with support of standout players from each organization including "Man of the Year" Kurt Warner and Antwaan Randle El. The program provided 3,000 students with refurbished fields, facilities and faculty for PE; 300 PE teachers with training and state-of-the-art lesson plans to educate 60,000 students; and reached millions of fans with public service announcements encouraging people to get involved in the cause.

During the 2009-2010 school-year, Keep Gym in School will help even more schools expand and improve PE with the following:

  • National School Adoption Grants. Middle schools throughout the country can compete for ten $1,000 grants that will be awarded in the spring of 2010 to fund physical education program improvement
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SOURCE NFL Network
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