The National Fitness Foundation, the official charity of the President’s Council on Sport, Fitness and Nutrition is dedicated to providing safe, affordable sport and fitness opportunities for our country’s youth.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a negative and destructive force across virtually all aspects of society. Unfortunately, the work the Foundation does to increase physical activity and expand access to sport was negatively impacted more than most sectors. return to normal in the physical activity and youth sport space can’t come soon enough because physical activity levels and youth sport participation took two or three steps backwards during the pandemic. Not surprisingly, Type 2 diabetes rates among American kids doubled, a staggering statistic. Research is also showing a spike in adolescent weight gain, and nearly one-third of youth sport organizers that shut down do not believe they will ever reopen.
On the other hand, if there was one silver lining from the pandemic, it was that COVID-19 exposed and shined a spotlight on massive gaps in the US physical activity system. As a nation, it became clear we aren’t investing enough in the physical and human infrastructure required to improve fitness and overall wellness levels. These gaps also exposed massive health inequities in underserved communities.
It also demonstrated that declining health and fitness levels in America are a problem that cannot be solved by one entity or even with a massive increase in public investments in the space. Success will require a comprehensive effort across government, and deep coordination with private sector stakeholders. While we are hopeful the Tokyo Olympics may serve as a springboard for widespread increases in physical activity and athletic pursuits at home and abroad, the effort to increase health, fitness and wellbeing levels in the U.S. requires more than slogans, public relations and even an Olympics that bring the world together around sport. It will require a coordinated public/private effort, with a deep commitment to systemic and behavioral change. That won’t happen overnight. And success won’t come easy. But we’re confident it can be done, and we’re confident elected officials will do their part to provide the necessary funding and investments in the space. We’re also confident there are plenty of private companies willing to join our cause to improve America’s health, fitness and wellness outcomes.
The National Fitness Foundation continues to forge local partnerships that are committed to our mission of expanding access to youth sports. These partnerships will be showcased through four potential areas of development: ACTIVATING athletes and coaches sign the American Youth Sports Pledge, committing support for youth sports in America; CROWDFUNDING through fundraising initiatives that engage and encourage fans to make donations to the National Fitness Foundation; AMPLIFYING joint marketing + social media campaigns that amplify National Fitness Foundation messaging to fans via pledges, player appearances and PSAs; and SUPPORTING our cause in the form of in-kind support including tickets, merchandise, autographs, meet-and-greets and exclusive opportunities to drive revenue for Foundation programs.
All of our partners can be found at www.fitness.foundation/partners2. Please contact us should you like to join us in support of our mission of providing all youth with the opportunity to live healthy and active lives.