WASHINGTON – An impromptu rope-skipping demonstration and exercise session led by fitness expert Donna Richardson Joyner energized athletes and health specialists as they developed new strategy to promote healthier lifestyles.
The Bouncing Bulldogs International Rope Skipping Demonstration Team,of Chapel Hill,N.C.,was asked to perform a series of synchronized routines during a meeting of the President’s Council on Fitness,Sports and Nutrition.
The team performed that morning at an event for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and was touring the Senate office building where the council was meeting. A press aide spotted them and invited them in for quick performance.
Coach Ray Fredrick said that,while the team was not prepared to perform,he was glad they had the opportunity because he supports the council.
The council,chaired by New Orleans Saints quarterback and 2009 Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees and three-time Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes,is concentrating its efforts on developing new programs in conjunction with Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Campaign.”
Monday afternoon at a White House event,the first lady announced a new focus for the council. The campaign’s primary goal is eliminating childhood obesity,and the council will now target the entire family.
“We want to encourage and inspire kids and adults throughout the U.S.,” Michelle Kwan,an Olympic figure skater and council member,said.
Charlene Burgeson,executive director of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education,said it is important to develop an informed network of parents,the community and school officials for the new initiatives to be successful.
“Physical activity needs physical education,” Burgeson said.
The “Let’s Move in School” campaign seeks to bring educators,parents and policymakers together to develop physical education programs with more physical activity.
One key initiative the council emphasized is the President’s Active Lifestyle Award Challenge. Participants,mostly children,create individual fitness plans and monitor their progress online. Council members and outside organizations have committed themselves to promoting the challenge in schools and communities.
New Orleans Hornets basketball player Chris Paul,a council member,said he is mandating that every child enrolled in his basketball camp sign up for the challenge. The council and the Department of Health and Human Services want a million people join the movement by September.
Council members recently began to focus on the role of good nutrition in overall wellness.
Council member Dan Barber,chef at New York’s Blue Hill restaurants,said the country is undergoing a revolution that largely revolves around food.
“We tend to disconnect good food or the role of the chef from good nutrition – they’re one in the same,” Barber said. “Good food and nutrition don’t have to be separate entities.”
Pictured in the photo above are:
Back row,from left: Dr. Ian Smith,who has consulted on TV health and cooking shows; Curtis Pride,baseball coach at Gallaudet University and a former play for the Detroit Tigers; Chris Paul,who plays for the New Orleans Hornets; Billie Jean King,a former professional tennis player; Drew Brees,quarterback for the New Orleans Saints; Grant Hill,who plays for the Phoenix Suns; Dominique Dawes,former Olympic gymnast,and Michelle Kwan,a former Olympic figure skater.
Front,left to right,members of the Bouncing Bulldogs International Rope Skipping Demonstration Team: Luke Riley,Erica Zenn,Pasangi Perera,Bella Davis,Whitney Watkins,Rae Krucoff,Daylan Felton,Lily Merrigan,Anna Reed,Kenzie Ruston and Krishinda Lee.
Reach reporter Kendra Johnson at email@example.com or 202-326-9861
SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.