Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chargers Donation Helps Fund Fitness Study at 27 Schools

The San Diego Chargers have selected 27 elementary, middle and high schools to participate in a three-year study to help promote physical activity and combat the obesity epidemic that is plaguing our youth.

The Cooper Institute, a non-profit organization, and NFL Charities, the charitable foundation of the National Football League, have partnered together to add the Fitnessgram® assessment tool to the NFL PLAY 60 movement, as part of a $1.8 million grant from the NFL.

Fitnessgram measures overall health through six tests designed to track aerobic capacity, body composition, muscular endurance, strength and flexibility. Thanks to the Chargers, participating physical education teachers at the 27 schools receive a web-based Fitnessgram 9 site license, a free Fitnessgram test administration kit, and one-on-one technical support from The Cooper Institute.

The software allows physical education teachers to provide instant results, based on age and gender, in an individualized report to help educate parents and students and encourage healthy behaviors. Each site license is valued at $1,620 per school, which results in more than $43,740 in savings to the district. The ongoing technical support from The Cooper Institute is priceless.

Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations. The program challenges youth to become physically active for at least 60 minutes each day. Teachers will collect data from student fitness assessments to form a youth longitudinal study tracking health-related fitness results and analyze how best to intervene. The resulting data will be provided to local, state, and national policy makers.

This is not the first time the Chargers have supported youth fitness in San Diego. They have contributed to a variety of fitness initiatives, including the NFL PLAY 60 initiative, recently popularized by television commercials.

The schools are: Hage and Lindbergh-Schweitzer elementary; Audubon, Bethune, Fulton, Golden Hill and Grant K-8s; Bell, Clark, Correia, Creative Performing Media Arts, Innovation, Knox, Lewis, Marshall, Marston, Memorial Prep for Scholars and Athletes, Millennial Tech, Montgomery, Muirlands, Pacific Beach, Pershing, Roosevelt, Standley and Taft middle schools; Scripps Ranch High School and John Muir K-12.

For more information, contact Bruce Ward, Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics, at 619-725-7126.