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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Physical Education Teacher to Walk, Bike, Snow Shoe 5,246 Miles Across the Country to Promote Healthy Living
Send off is set for Monday, January 24 at 11 am in Sudbury, MA
CA Trip Begins February 1; to Meet with Students & Policymakers along the Way
RESTON, VA, JANUARY 20, 2011 – Sudbury, Massachusetts Middle School Physical Education Teacher Catherine "Cate" Dill, a member of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), will attempt an unprecedented 5,246 mile trek coast to coast beginning February 1 in Santa Barbara, CA. Called "Let's Get Moving America," Coach Cate will promote physical activity throughout the school day, eating nutritiously, and living one's passions by walking, running, cycling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, and inline skating across the country to her final destination in Boston, MA by mid-June.
"My goal is to motivate all Americans about living healthy, physically active lives," said the dedicated, 10-year Ephraim Curtis Middle School physical education teacher who has walked and biked to school every day for the past three years in a row no matter the challenges of the weather. "I encourage everyone to join me on my adventure and to follow my tweets, blogs and video streaming at www.letsgetmovingamerica.com."
Coach Cate's love for physical activity led her to start a nonprofit called "Let's Get Playing." Its mission is to provide underprivileged kids with fitness equipment and opportunities to participate in sports activities to maintain a fit and healthy life.
For most of her travels - she hopes to do 50 miles every day – she will go through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and Delaware. Coach Cate will then continue through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where she will end at Boston Harbor.
"The Massachusetts state affiliate of AAHPERD is proud to have Cate Dill as a member of our Executive Board and as a role model for students in our state. Cate's students at Ephraim Curtis Middle School, 22 Pratts Mill Rd., Sudbury, are excited about following their teacher's adventures online and will be showcasing their support with a grand send-off outside the school at 11 am on Monday, January 24," says Maria Melchionda, executive director of the Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD). Coach Cate will then jump on her bike and ride into Boston where she board an Amtrak train the next day to Santa Barbara, CA.
Coach Cate, a vice president of Girl's and Women's Athletics for the Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD), will spread her healthy living message by making presentations at schools, youth, fitness and senior centers. She plans to meet with state policymakers and the media to discuss Let's Move in School, an initiative of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), which is led by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) to ensure that every school provides a comprehensive school physical activity program with quality physical education as the foundation so that youth will develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.
A graduate of Oregon State University with a bachelor's degree in physical education, she received her master's degree in Sports and Fitness Management from Northeastern University. She has also been dedicated to making her hometown of Sudbury, MA a "Healthy Town" by organizing recreational family fitness activities such as the Sudbury Turkey Trot Fun Run and Bike Sudbury.
During the last leg of her journey, Coach Cate will stop in the nation's capital, where she hopes to meet with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to discuss the importance of physical education and physical activity in children's lives.
Beginning with MAHPERD, AAHPERD state affiliates across the country will support the veteran physical education teacher by generating excitement for her mission, supplying biking and running partners and perhaps some warm showers and beds along the way. AAHPERD, which supports the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation, launched the Let's Move in School initiative in April 2010. AAHPERD and its five national associations, six district associations and the Research Consortium believe schools can and should play a pivotal role in educating youth about the dangers of obesity and the benefits of maintaining a physically active lifestyle.
AAHPERD President Vicki Worrell of Emporia State University in Kansas says, "Cate's colleagues across the country salute this vibrant, energetic and committed physical education teacher who came up with this idea and took nearly a year off of her job because she believes in the importance of children and youth moving and leading healthier lives. I hope everyone joins her actions. We need thousands of role models like Cate Dill!"
About Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (MAHPERD)
The Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) is a non-profit organization for professionals and students dedicated to promoting healthy active lifestyles. It recognizes and advocates for quality programs and professional development opportunities in each of the disciplines. MAHPERD promotes liaisons with allied organizations and memberships in Eastern District Association (EDA), and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. To learn more, visit www.ma-hperd.org.
Paula Keyes Kun