3 state schools to each be gifted $100K fitness center; Nominations are now open

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Nominate your school, and it may have a chance to get a new fitness center as a way of promoting active movement.

Minnesota has been chosen for the 2019 DON’T QUIT! Campaign. Jake Steinfeld, chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC), stated that three schools will be given a state-of-the-art DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center for demonstrating leadership in getting and keeping their students fit. School nominations will be accepted through March 22.

So far, DON’T QUIT! Fitness Centers have been delivered to 28 states and Washington, D.C. Stenfeld shared that the organization saw academic performance and self-esteem “skyrocket” and that more students are excited about working and being physically active.

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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 that physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism, and fosters better interpersonal relationships.

“Childhood obesity is a serious problem that can follow a child into adulthood,” Steinfeld said. “Every governor we’ve partnered 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. Now, Minnesota schools have an opportunity to make a change that will have a lasting impact on kids well into their future.”

The NFGFC program plans to make its way to all 50 states in the next couple years. Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like Coca-Cola Company, Anthem Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. TuffStuff Fitness International provides all fitness equipment, which is manufactured in the United States.

Gov. Tim Walz also expressed his support for the fitness centers and attests to the effects of physical activity has on student learning in the classroom.

“I am excited that the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils is partnering with Minnesota to help improve the health and lives of students,” Walz said. “Encouraging our children to become more physically active today will pay dividends well into their future. This is a great opportunity for schools across the state.”

The nomination process is simple. A short application needs to be filled out and include a written essay or short video.

“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. “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.”

For more information about the NFGFC or to download a nomination form, visit www.natgovfit.org.