ASHBURN, Va. -- The National Association for Health and Fitness has selected the National Recreation and Park Association as a 2007 recipient of its National Exemplary Health and Fitness Leadership Award. The award recognizes national organizations or companies that have made significant contributions to the advancement of the field of health, fitness and sports or to the development of national programs that serve as a model for others to follow.
Kathy Spangler, director of national partnerships at NRPA, will receive the award this evening at the NAHF Gold Star Awards Dinner at Knott's Berry Farm Resort in Buena Park, California. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jake Steinfeld, founder and chairman of Body by Jake Global, will also be recognized for their service and commitment to the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
NRPA was recognized for its work in support the efforts of municipal park and recreation departments to mobilize communities, advancing the contributions of the leisure sciences, and establishing a policy agenda that expands the access and opportunities for all citizens to engage in physically active lifestyles.
"Our part in advancing the many benefits of physical activity," said Spangler, "has always been to champion the role that city and county public park and recreation agencies play in making communities healthier and more livable. These agencies are the true leaders; we're simply here to provide support and to facilitate the good work they're doing at the local level."
Among NRPA's many contributions to increasing Americans' levels of fitness, health and physical activity, the NAHF specifically recognized the association's successful Step Up to Health initiative, which has helped to mobilize communities around physical activity; and its 2000 Hearts N' Parks program, a groundbreaking initiative that targeted the benefits of
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of some 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit http://www.nrpa.org.