SGMA Applauds Proposed $80 Million for PEP in 2011

Senate Appropriators Signal Increased P.E. Funding P.E. for America’s Youth
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SILVER SPRING, MD – The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) is delighted with the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approval of $80 million in funding for the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) in 2011. This Senate action took place late yesterday afternoon – July 29. The U.S. House of Representatives will complete work on its 2011 education funding bill later this fall. In recent years, the House and Senate have proposed similar funding for PEP. 

PEP is a competitive grant program managed by the U.S. Department of Education. PEP grants are awarded to schools and community based organizations that provide quality physical education/physical activity programs for America's youth. This funding is a top priority in SGMA’s commitment to provide quality physical education through schools and community based organizations. 

"The PEP program is a federally funded initiative that has worked since day one and continues to reap health care ‘dividends’ for children in the United States,” said SGMA President Tom Cove. “As our childhood and adult obesity rates continue to climb, programs like PEP need to be implemented to help reverse those trends. Right now, it’s important that we promote a cultural change in America that encourages physically active lifestyles. PEP will inspire the younger generation to be active and more health conscious. If we fail, this country will face a huge health care crisis in the not too distant future.”

Since the initial PEP grants in 2001, more than $600 million in PEP grants have been awarded to school districts and community based organizations. PEP funds have successfully enhanced K-12 physical education and community based organizations’ physical activity programs across the country. PEP grants are used for training in state-of-the-art health, fitness and wellness-based physical education methods; the addition of new technology such as heart-rate monitors and pedometers; and the acquisition of innovative P.E. equipment such as elliptical machines, treadmills, rock climbing walls, in-line skates, ‘exergames,’ and stationary bikes.

The integration of new thinking, new products, and new technology form the platform on which today’s quality PE programs are built.

The main base of support for PEP is generated by SGMA’s National Health-through-Fitness Day which took place on Wednesday, March 10th in Washington, D.C. SGMA organizes this day-long lobbying effort which features well known athletes and coaches, sporting goods and fitness equipment manufacturers, retailers, health care leaders, concerned citizens, association leaders, P.E. teachers, and other physical education advocates. The goal of this initiative is for SGMA members and PE partners/supporters to have discussions with Members of Congress on Capitol Hill about this national fitness issue. SGMA’s key partners in pushing for PEP include PE4life, NASPE, Outdoor Industry Association, IHRSA, NSGA, National Coalition to Promote Physical Activity, and the National Recreation and Parks Association.

When children are given access to PEP-backed P.E. programs in schools, there are many beneficial side effects such as increased academic performance, lower absenteeism in schools, reduced childhood obesity rates, fewer instances of disruptive behavior, and improved retention of information by students in the classroom.

“For the future of this country, it’s imperative that we invest in improved fitness today or risk a tremendous health care burden in the years to come,” said Bill Sells, SGMA’s vice president for government relations. “If we ignore the obesity problem, the Center for Disease Control projects healthcare spending in the U.S. will rise to $4 trillion by 2015 (20% of GDP). As a nation, we cannot afford to spend one of every five dollars on health care expenses. If we continue to support initiatives like PEP, it will help America avoid that negative scenario."

Since the PEP Bill was passed by Congress in 2001, more than 1,000 PEP grants have been awarded across the country. In Fiscal Year 2001, the PEP Bill was approved for $5 million. In FY 2002, Congress allotted $50 million; $60 million in FY 2003; $70 million in FY 2004; $73.4 million in FY 2005; $72.7 million in FY 2006; $72.7 million in FY 2007, $75.6 in 2008, $78 million in 2009; and $79 million in 2010.

The main base of support for PEP is generated by SGMA’s National Health Through Fitness Day which took place on Wednesday, March 10th in Washington, D.C. SGMA organizes this day-long lobbying effort which features well known athletes and coaches, sporting goods and fitness equipment manufacturers, retailers, health care leaders, concerned citizens, association leaders, P.E. teachers, and other physical education advocates. The goal of this initiative is for SGMA members and PE partners/supporters to have discussions with Members of Congress on Capitol Hill about this national fitness issue. 

A number of SGMA member companies and outside organizations participate in and support SGMA’s National Health Through Fitness Day lobbying process. Those companies include ACCUSPLIT, Active Network, Brain Pad, Callaway Golf, Century Martial Arts, Continental Sports Supply/Reusch USA, Cramer Products, Easton-Bell Sports, Everlast Worldwide, Flaghouse, Franklin Sports, Gatorade, GeoFitness, Good Sports, Gopher Sport, Head/Penn, HOPSports Training Systems, Horizon Fitness, Human Kinetics, Jarden Team Sports, Lifeline International, Mizuno USA, Motion Fitness, Musco Lighting, National Sporting Goods Association, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Nike, Polar Electro, Pop Warner Football, Precor, Prince Sports, Reebok, Rollerblade, Russell Athletic, SGMA’s Legal Task Force, Spalding, Sportime, Street Surfing, Tennis Industry Association, Under Armour, United States Tennis Association, and Xavix.

SGMA’s key organizational partners in pushing for PEP include IHRSA, NASPE, National Coalition to Promote Physical Activity, National Recreation and Parks Association, National Sporting Goods Association, Outdoor Industry Association, and PE4life.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by fostering participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion, and public policy. More information about SGMA membership and SGMA's National Health Through Fitness Day can be found at www.SGMA.com

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