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December 26, 2007 > Governor launches annual fitness challenge

Governor launches annual fitness challenge

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched the 2nd Annual Governor's Challenge Competition among k-12 schools on Tuesday, Dec. 18, calling on California students, teachers and administrators to help build a healthier California by getting more active, healthy and fit.

"It is so great to kick off my annual Governor's Fitness Challenge, where we take kids from all across the state and have a competition to see which school can exercise the most. And, I am very excited to announce that this year, for the first time, we want both students and teachers to participate," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "So, I want all students and teachers across California to take my Fitness Challenge and help make our state the strongest and healthiest state in the country."

The grand prize winning elementary school, middle school and high school will each receive a brand new fitness activity center and eleven additional Regional Award Winning schools will receive $5,000 of physical activity equipment. Winning schools will be chosen from a group of finalists that successfully encourage their students and teachers to be active 30-60 minutes a day, at least three days a week for four weeks.

Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and founder of Major League Lacrosse, Exercise TV and "Body by Jake," joined the Governor in announcing the start of the 2008 Governor's Challenge Competition at Culver City Middle School.

"Governor Schwarzenegger and I want this competition to inspire young people in schools across the state to get moving and feel the benefits associated with being physically fit," Steinfeld told the assembled middle school students. "Last year we had more than 69,000 students from over 1,200 schools participate. This year, the goal is to have 150,000 students sign up from over 2,500 schools and we won't rest until we reach that goal."

As soon as school resumes after winter break, teachers will be able to sign up for the Governor's Challenge at and begin recording active days for themselves and their students. Alternatively, students will also be able to sign up for the Governor's Challenge and log their active days directly.

Last year, high school students who signed up for the Governor's Challenge qualified for a free 30 day pass to 24 Hour Fitness and those who successfully completed the Governor's Challenge earned an additional 90 day pass. This year, incentives have been extended to include elementary school students, middle school students and teachers who participate in the Governor's Challenge as well.

2008 Governor's Challenge Individual Incentives
Elementary School Students who take the Governor's Challenge qualify for a Longs Drugs coupon to get a personalized Champion for Fitness trading card.

Middle School Students who take the Governor's Challenge qualify for a free lift ticket at Mammoth Mountain.

High School Students qualify for a free 30 day pass to 24 Hour Fitness when they sign up for the Governor's Challenge and a free 90 day pass when they complete the Governor's Challenge.

California Teachers can download a free 30 day California Teacher Pass to 24 Hour Fitness when they sign up to take the Governor's Challenge themselves.

The first 25,000 students and teachers in the state who complete the Governor's Challenge will qualify for a Certificate of Completion and an official patch of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports thanks to General Mills (Additional funds are being sought to make sure every Californian who completes the Governor's Challenge will be able to receive these awards).

Students and teachers must complete the Governor's Challenge by Wednesday, Apr. 30, to help their school qualify for the brand new fitness activity centers, which are being made possible by the Blue Cross of California Foundation with the help of iTECH Fitness, or one of 11 regional awards ($5,000 each), which are being funded by Longs Drugs. Longs Drugs is also funding thirty-three $1,000 Front Runner Recognition awards that will go to the elementary schools, middle schools and high schools that are leading the way in the Governor's Challenge on Jan. 31, 2008.

The Governor's Challenge Competition was developed by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports to help motivate California children to be more physically active and to eat more healthily. Research shows that regular physical activity during childhood and adolescence helps build healthier bones and muscles, increases self-esteem, and reduces the risk of many diseases and chronic conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In addition, through results from the California Department of Education's physical fitness test, physical activity has been shown to be highly correlated with academic success.

Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
A non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting physical activity for all Californians with an emphasis on children and youth. Governor Schwarzenegger is the Honorary Chairman and Council members include Chairman Jake Steinfeld, Vice Chairman Peter Vidmar, and California sports legends such as Jerry Rice, Michelle Kwan, Tony Hawk, Julie Foudy, Lisa Fernandez, Lisa Leslie, Misty May-Treanor, Jack LaLanne and John Wooden.

Sponsors: Applied Materials, Blue Cross of California Foundation, General Mills, Kaiser Permanente, and Longs Drugs.
Partners: 24 Hour Fitness, the Network for a Healthy California, iTECH Fitness, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and Paramount Farms.

Educational Associations and Organizations supporting the Governor's Challenge Competition:
Association of California School Administrators
California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
California Association of School Business Officials
California Association of School Counselors
California Charter Schools Association
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association
California Department of Education
California Interscholastic Federation
California School Boards Association
California Teachers Association

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