Aug 9, 2021

Supporting Youth Activity in the Face of COVID-19

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.

Jul 16, 2021

#FreePE

 #FreePE is an effort created by the National Fitness Foundation in partnership with the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP)to promote youth fitness from home, increase physical activity and promote health equity.

With the Coronavirus pandemic creating more barriers to staying active, the National Fitness Foundation has introduced #FreePE to reach 50+ million children across the nation in hopes of promoting physical activity regardless of access to in-school physical education.

 #FreePE will arm children with quality fitness resources and tools to empower youth to be fit for life and curb childhood obesity from the comfort of their own homes. 

The National Fitness Foundation has partnered with 25 professional athletes including Olympians and Paralympians to create short fitness videos that will be disseminated through physical education programs across the country to be used by children as a part of their #FreePE workout plan. The first 30+ videos focus on aerobic and strength training exercises that can be done with little or no equipment.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has warned that physical inactivity and unequal opportunity has created a national health crisis for United States youth. With the current inability for kids to participate in limited after school activities and youth sports programs, combined with the upcoming loss of the PYFP in-school physical activity, this national health crisis will worsen. 

Links:

Apr 14, 2021

American Youth Sport Awards

We are proud to announce the inaugural American Youth Sports Awards (AYSA) celebrating those moving youth sports forward in helping to solve our national health crisis. The Awards will honor charities, youth programs, corporations, community relations departments, professional and collegiate teams, colleges and individual leaders in Youth Sports. Year-one will focus on the Awards themselves, and the event will grow into an annual gala and business summit.

 

Donations will be made to charities selected by the Hall of Fame class who have made extraordinary contributions to youth sport and used sport to positively influence and improve the lives of young Americans. Organizations in need will qualify for grants to be used to further the Foundation’s mission of providing every American child with equal access to sport regardless of their zip code. The National Fitness Foundation will require organizations to report back on how funds were used to create an AYSA impact report to be released the following year.

 
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