“I am incredibly grateful to Jake Steinfeld and the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils for helping improve the health and lives of children in Tennessee,” Haslam said. “Encouraging our children to be physically active now can lead to a lifetime of good habits and help them grow into healthy adults. I thank Jake and his team for this generous opportunity.”
The NFGFC will deliver a state-of-the-art Don’t Quit fitness center to three Tennessee schools for demonstrating leadership in getting and keeping students fit. Each Don’t Quit fitness center includes strength training equipment, cardio fitness equipment and a multi-exercise circuit training system. The nomination process will run through April 6. Anyone can nominate a school by visiting natgovfit.org.
“Childhood obesity is a serious problem that can follow a child into adulthood. I’ve declared war on this preventable disease, and I’m inspired to see elected leaders like Gov. Haslam immediately jump on board to join the battle and welcome us into his state,” Steinfeld said. “Every state leader that I’ve met with recognizes that obesity is neither a Democrat nor Republican issue. It’s a kids issue and all have vowed to do everything possible to help. So far we’ve delivered Don’t Quit fitness centers in 24 states and Washington, D.C. and the response from students, teachers and communities has been unbelievable. Kids are excited about working out and being physically active and, as a result, their academic performance and self-esteem has skyrocketed. Now, Tennessee schools have an opportunity to make a change that will have a lasting impact on kids well into their future.”
The program will make its way into all 50 states in the coming years. Each fitness center is financed through public-private partnerships with companies like the Coca-Cola Co., Amerigroup Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. TuffStuff Fitness International provides all of the fitness equipment, which is manufactured in the United States. The foundation’s goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest children in the world.
“I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact fitness centers have had on students and their communities. When you provide schools with the tools and inspiration, you’ll be amazed by the changes that take place,” Steinfeld said. “Our children are our most precious resource, and by providing them with a strong foundation in health and fitness, we can feel confident that they’ll excel beyond their wildest dreams.”
According to the NFGFC, physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life and reduce health care costs. In schools, studies show physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism and fosters better interpersonal relationships.
For more information about the NFGFC or to download a nomination form, visit natgovfit.org.
The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils seeks to encourage and reward innovation in the field of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness. The NFGFC envisions a fitness center in every school in the U.S., helping to build a nation that – through innovation and a “Don’t Quit” attitude – boasts the fittest children in the world. Since 2012, the NFGFC has delivered fitness centers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, California, New Mexico, Connecticut, Virginia, Illinois, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, Maryland, Louisiana, Oregon and Colorado. In 2018, it will gift fitness centers to four more states including Tennessee, South Carolina, Kansas and Utah.