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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Health & Physical Education Teachers Bike
from Harrisburg to Capitol Hill
Pushing for Legislative Support for Health & Physical Education in Schools
RESTON, VA, June 25, 2013– With the proposed PHYSICAL Act under consideration in Congress, potentially designating health and physical education as "core subjects" under federal education law, a group of 19 physical and health educators, school principals and community advocates from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland will spotlight the negative impact of childhood obesity and garner support for maintaining health and physical education programs in schools, during a 150-mile bike ride to our nation's capital. Led by Project Director Kelly Boyd and Director of Sponsorship and Advocacy, Kimberley Razzano, the 2nd "Capital to Capitol ONE Ride" is an initiative of the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PSAHPERD).
The cyclists begin Wednesday, June 26 at the Pennsylvania State House in Harrisburg and will culminate their ride on Capitol Hill on Friday, June 28. Redskins' Tight End Niles Paul, a graduate of the University of Nebraska, will meet with the group at Upper Senate Park (200 New Jersey Ave., NW Washington DC) at 12:30 to discuss the importance of children and young adults eating healthy foods and beverages and getting the nationally recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day—before, during and after school.
The goal of the trip is three-fold:
The sole sponsor of the ride, the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, is a longtime supporter of the health and well-being of children and athletes alike through its national dairy and nutrition education programs. Its "Refuel Ride Along" will supply cyclists with cold chocolate milk throughout the ride to encourage participants to incorporate chocolate milk as a post-workout beverage. Through MDA's partnership with the NFL, Redskins Niles Paul will share insights to maintaining a physically active and healthy lifestyle.
"The Centers for Disease Control, the Institute of Medicine, and other health related organizations and institutions continue to share the long term effects of childhood obesity on a young person's health and well-being, yet many Pennsylvania elementary schools have eliminated health education and reduced physical education to just one 30-minute class every six days," says Razzano.
"Physical inactivity and a poor diet are two of the six risk factors leading to premature death, according to the CDC. Health and physical education need to be designated as "core subjects" to get the appropriate funding in order to maintain these vital programs to help children make health-conscious decisions. It is our only chance at cultivating a life-long commitment to living a healthy, physically active lifestyle," says Boyd. PSAHPERD will be pushing for this designation at the state level.
The bicyclists will leave from the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol and ride 55 miles to Gettysburg and down to Emmitsburg, MD. On day two, they will cycle 75 miles to Herndon, VA. On day three, they will ride along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) headquarters in Reston, before heading over to Capitol Hill on Friday morning.
"We are so proud of PSAHPERD for taking on this initiative again. What's really exciting is that this year there are school principals, assistant principals, parents, and even business professionals, people from all walks of life participating. It is symbolic of how creating a healthier generation of people is a collective effort and begins in the school setting with before, during and after school opportunities," adds AAHPERD CEO Paul Roetert.
In addition, the colorful KickStart vehicle will accompany the group from start to finish. The KickStart Mobile is part of the Illinois-based Sarah Bush Lincoln Foundation's Healthy Communities initiative. The interactive mobile exhibit includes fun features such as jump ropes, sit-up bars and resistance bands to help teach children about body functions, health and wellness.
For more information, visit the KickStart Mobile.
To stay up to date and make a donation, visit PSAHPERD, or contact Kimberley Razzano at 570-994-2171 and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow hashtag #oneride and @PSAHPERD on Twitter and "friend" the Capital to Capitol Facebook page to see photos and video clips.
Society of Health and Physical Educators