PHIT America the non-profit education and advocacy organization designed to combat the nation’s inactivity and obesity crisis announced Gary Player, one of the greatest players in golf history, as a celebrity ambassador.
Winner of 165 tournaments, including nine Major Championships, Player achieved legendary status as one of only five golfers in history to claim a career Grand Slam winning the Masters Tournament (1961, 1974, 1978), U.S. Open (1965), The British Open Championship (1959, 1968, 1974) and PGA Championship (1962, 1972). Additionally, Player is the only golfer in golf history to achieve the Grand Slam on the Champions (formerly Senior PGA) Tour.
He credits his success on the course to the stringent exercise regimen maintained throughout his career.
“At age 78, I still complete a rigorous fitness routine, which includes 1,000 sit-ups daily,” says Player. “My greatest ambition is to spread the message to the youth of the world that your body is a temple you cannot do anything without health.”
As a father of six and grandfather of 22, Player’s desire to instill the importance of an active lifestyle, especially in children, aligns with the message of PHIT America. Participation in youth sports is a way to get fit while also building self-confidence and developing skills such as discipline and dedication to setting and achieving goals.
Player joins an all-star roster of Celebrity Ambassadors including NFL icon Herschel Walker, Olympic softball gold medalist Michele Smith, and Golf Channel instructor Michael Breed. Each PHIT America Celebrity Ambassador is selected due to a common vision. The collective goal is to create “A Movement for a Fit and Healthy America” by educating men, women and children about the importance of an active lifestyle to improve overall health.
“Almost 30 percent of Americans are totally sedentary and this has increased the last five years,” says Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America, former President of Wilson Sporting Goods and a 2011 inductee into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame. “Inactivity is the prime contributor to the escalating health care costs we all face and Gary Player is setting a great example of how we can all work to create a more fit country.”
Since its January 2013 launch, more than 150 leading companies and associations from the sports, fitness, retail and media industries have contributed funds and services to support PHIT America.
The organization supports two pieces of legislation crucial to increasing the number of healthy Americans. When passed, the Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT) will allow people to use pre-tax medical accounts for physical activity expenses. The Physical Education Program (PEP) is a 14-year Federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education for schools to rebuild and revolutionize fitness programs.
Americans are encouraged to support PHIT America by visiting www.PHITAmerica.org to advocate, provide a donation or participate in health and wellness programs.
To view the entire list of PHIT America celebrities, click HERE.
Founded in January 2013, PHIT America is a non-profit educational, social media, and advocacy campaign focused on overcoming the inactivity pandemic and obesity crisis in America by creating a “Movement for a Fit & Healthy America.” More than 150 companies, along with sports ambassadors and celebrities, are helping PHIT America to get more Americans more active, fit and healthy.
A few of the major PHIT America initiatives include passing key legislation. The Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT) will allow Americans will be able to use pre-tax medical accounts for physical activity expenses. The Physical Education Program (PEP) is a 14-year program supporting increased activity in local physical education programs throughout America. Both the PHIT Act and PEP Program will help mitigate rising healthcare costs by encouraging Americans to develop more active, healthy lifestyles.
PHIT America also just launched the Mayors Fitness Challenge, a new, fun 10-week campaign in local cities around the U.S. designed to encourage active lifestyles through group exercise sessions, educational programs and community engagement.