As the U.S. gets ready for the upcoming school year, PHIT America announced that more than 150,000 elementary school children over the past 24 months have remained physically active through the PHIT America GO! Grants program. To date, PHIT America, with the help of its sponsors, has invested over $1,000,000 in the PHIT America GO! Grants program.
Since the fall of 2015, PHIT America GO! Grants have been awarded to more than 300 elementary school P.E. programs by PHIT America, with the support of three-year partner, KIDS in the GAME. PHIT America GO! Grants help schools that are in desperate need of gear, programming or training for physical activity programs. PHIT America GO! Grants range in size from $1,000 to $5,000 per school. Every PHIT America GO! Grant is focused on providing assistance to schools which want to help students improve their motor skills, reduce obesity, and increase physical literacy and fitness.
“We are proud to get more kids active and playing sports while fighting the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’,” says Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America. “We have beaten our projections and our average cost per child is less than $15. That is an incredibly small price to pay for the transformative power exercise has on these kids’ academic, physical and emotional health. The PHIT America GO! Grants are changing lives.”
The growing number of physically inactive children in the U.S. truly underscores the need for P.E. in schools, which, sadly, is provided in just 48 percent of American schools. As the emphasis on P.E. has dropped in the U.S., so has the level of physical activity among children. The number of U.S. children who are physically active at least three days a week has dropped from nearly 29 percent in 2011 down to 24.8 percent in 2016.
Like all successful initiatives, the PHIT America GO! Grants program would not be possible without the assistance from committed major sponsors including Asics, adidas, Brooks, Life Fitness, Augusta, Everlast, Franklin, Johnson Health, Keiser, New Balance, Rawlings, Reebok, Riddell, Speedo, Technogym, the USTA and Wilson.
A few key sponsors have driven up the results from the PHIT America GO! Grants. Asics became the first Platinum Sponsor by pledging an additional $50,000 to PHIT America through a special consumer-centric Global Running Day fundraising initiative in late May/early June of this year. The majority of these funds will impact GO! Grants in California, Hawaii, and Texas in the 2017/18 school year. Asics is planning other promotional events later this year which will benefit PHIT America and get more kids ‘off the couch’ and active through the GO! Grants program.
“The leadership of Gene McCarthy at Asics for our pro-physical activity initiatives has been outstanding,” says Baugh. “Gene realizes the industry must grow sports and fitness participation to beat the physical inactivity trends the industry is facing. Gene and Asics have made investments even in these times when overall market conditions are very tough.”
Two other major sponsors have gone the extra mile. Recently in Chicago, Life Fitness provided PHIT America GO! Grants to 11 elementary schools in the greater Chicago area. Then, with the help of its PR firm, Edelman & Associates, Life Fitness told the story throughout the greater Chicago area. See the great promotional video which Life Fitness produced HERE. Earlier this year, Technogym, with the help of its PR firm, NikeComm, supported schools in northern New Jersey and then exposed their efforts and results to the general media in the greater New York City area.
“We need more support like this, but we also are so happy these companies are telling America about the ‘Inactivity Pandemic,’ what’s happening with schools and kids, and what we are doing to get children more active, fit and healthy,” says Baugh.
“As we speak, we are reaching out to corporations, organizations and individuals which have an interest in health, fitness, and children’s education,” says Baugh. “If a company or an individual wants to make a difference in their community, we at PHIT America want to hear from them. Physical inactivity is a national crisis. Sitting has become the new smoking. This investment is critical to the future of our kids and to America.”
Every company in the sports and fitness industry is invited to join the PHIT America ‘Movement.’
“Companies can’t sit on the sidelines. Companies can’t cut their way to prosperity. This ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ will not turn around unless we turn it around. We have to get more Americans active and playing sports. And, it starts with the kids,” says Baugh.
Interested companies that want to help reverse the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ should contact PHIT America at Alliance@PHITAmerica.org.
Photo courtesy PHIT America