Former NFL running back Herschel Walker, Yankees legendary closer Mariano Rivera, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, golfer Natalie Gulbis, three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor and Dr. Mehmet Oz will be appointed to President Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.
Rivera, Walker and May-Treanor were tabbed to co-chair the council in an announcement released Friday.
Other council member nominees are former Boston Red Sox and Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon; golfer Natalie Gulbis; Kyle Snyder, an Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling and silver-medal-winning bobsledder Shauna Rohbock. Actor and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz and a number of business executives were also selected to be part of the 23-member council.
Formerly known as the Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition while President Obama was in office, Trump in February signed an executive order revamping the council to direct its focus towards encouraging children to play sports. Ivanka Trump spoke about the rebranding at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
According to a statement from the White House, three individuals will be appointed as co-chairs and members of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition for a term of two years:
- Mariano Rivera of New York
- Misty May-Treanor of California
- Herschel Junior Walker of Georgia
Members of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition for a term of two years will include:
- Brenda Larsen Becker of Michigan
- William Belichick of Massachusetts
- Johnny David Damon of Florida
- Trevor Joseph Drinkwater of California
- Louis Ferrigno of California
- Robert Goldman of Illinois
- Nan A.S. Hayworth of New York
- Matthew Hesse of Nebraska
- Ashlee Lundvall of Wyoming
- Jacob Olson of California
- Mehmet Oz of New Jersey
- Natalie Gulbis Rodarmel of California
- Shauna L. Rohbock of Utah
- Kyle Frederick Snyder of Maryland
- Stephen Soloway of New Jersey
- Julie Teer of Michigan
- Chris Tisi of Florida
- Robert Charles Wilkins of New Jersey
- Samuel James Worthington, Jr. of Pennsylvania
- Linda Yaccarino of New York
Last year, the Sports and Fitness Industry Association and the Aspen Institute found that athletic participation among kids between the ages of six and 12 is down almost 8 percent in the last decade.
The Trump administration was concerned “that youth sports participation has declined over the last decade, particularly among young girls and children from economically distressed communities,” a source told Axios.
In a statement, Belichick said the council’s mission aligns with both his and his foundation’s goals and values.
“The physical fitness of children in our country is an apolitical issue that is extremely important to our future,” Belichick said. “When I was contacted by Ivanka Trump and asked to participate, I was humbled to be asked and honored to accept, as I would have done for any administration. I know that a lot of great leaders have participated on the Council over the past half century, some who are personal inspirations to me, and I am eager to lend any assistance I can to its ongoing mission.”
Photo courtesy University of Georgia