Sport & Health Clubs and Project Fit America Team Up to Donate Fitness Equipment to Area Schools

Local Health Club Plays an Active Role in the Fight Against Obesity
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Sport & Health Clubs will celebrate their continued partnership with Project Fit America (PFA) on October 25th and 26th with kick-off activities and a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially dedicate new fitness programs donated to three schools in the Washington, D.C. area.

In an effort to improve community wellness, Sport & Health has donated $100,000 in equipment to sponsor a turnkey program that provides indoor and outdoor fitness equipment, teacher training, and physical education curriculum support materials to seven area schools. This donation will impact over 8,000 students and hundreds of teachers in schools based in Northern Virginia.

This month's ceremonies will feature a variety of special guest appearances including Slapshot, official mascot to the Washington Capitals Hockey Club. Members of the community, school and government officials, special guest speakers and Sport & Health representatives will attend ceremonies at the following schools and times:

Wednesday, October 25th
* 9:30-10:30 a.m. at Lee Hill Elementary School, Fredericksburg, VA
* 12:45-1:45 p.m. at Walker-Grant Middle School, Fredericksburg, VA
Thursday, October 26th
* 9:30-10:30 a.m. at Arlington Science Focus School, Arlington, VA



According to a national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25 percent of children and adolescents in the Unites States are overweight or nearly overweight. "It is our goal to help deliver well-designed fitness programs to encourage physical activity among students, teachers, parents, and other community members," said Sport & Health's Senior Vice President of Fitness, Mitch Batkin. "Trends in obesity, diabetes and poor physical conditions are a problem in our community. We are proud to support this program, which is part of the solution."

The program, designed by PFA, addresses the deficient areas where children fail fitness tests and provides a big boost to the minutes per week kids are active. Incorporating the outdoor fitness playground beyond traditional physical education class time, involving recess, lunch as well as before and after school programming, students become much more physically active as part of the every day school experience.

"Physical education and fitness related activities continue to be cut and/or poorly funded, at a time when childhood obesity and related illnesses are at epidemic levels," says PFA's Executive Director, Stacey Cook. "Our children's health is too important to sit idly by, which is why we applaud Sport & Health for taking this leadership role to bring programming to the DC metropolitan area."

PFA has established pilot and model schools in more than 500 schools, in over 250 cities in 42 states. The pre-and-post testing data for the two-year program shows improvement in participants' fitness levels. Early in the school year, students are base-line tested on the equipment and then are re-tested in the spring to measure the change in group fitness levels based on the program's use. Pre-and-post testing results reported by participating schools during the 2005-2006 school year show an average increase of 26.9% in upper body strength, 5.8% in abdominal strength and 8.5% in cardiovascular endurance.

These findings are the basis for Sport & Health's sponsorship of this initiative. Working with charities such as PFA is one of many ways Sport & Health demonstrates a long-term commitment to the health and well being of the communities in which they do business. Since 2005 Sport & Health has sponsored seven schools in the DC metropolitan area. Students, teachers and their families are encouraged to use the new PFA outdoor equipment after hours and on weekends as an outdoor fitness resource with open access for the entire community.

ABOUT SPORT & HEALTH:

Since 1973, Sport & Health Clubs has grown to be Washington's largest family of full-service health clubs and day spas with 24 locations in Virginia, Maryland and DC. The Company serves the health and fitness needs of over 80,000 Washingtonians, with over 2,000 employees and is one of the top 10 health club companies in the U.S. (based on annual revenues).

The clubs feature state-of-the-art fitness equipment, individual and group personal training, group exercise classes for all levels including Pilates, yoga, step, high and low impact, kickboxing and more. Many clubs feature tennis, racquetball, squash, basketball, swimming and a Kidz Klub. The Kidz Klub features a nursery, climbing mazes, dance classes, camps and a variety of junior programs for all ages.

Several clubs feature Serenity Day Spa that provides therapeutic massage, body treatments, nail and skin care and hair styling and design. For more information, visit http://www.sportandhealth.com/.

ABOUT PROJECT FIT AMERICA:

Project Fit America (PFA) is a national nonprofit charity organized for the sole purpose of donating to schools, exemplary cardiovascular health and fitness programming. Formed in July of 1990, PFA has generated over $6,000,000.00 in sponsorships which has resulted in the development of over 500 model schools in over 250 cities in 42 states. The mission of PFA is to create new opportunities for kids to be active, fit and healthy by providing vital resources and support for physical education one school yard at a time. For more information, visit http://www.projectfitamerica.org/.

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