Sources: PHIT America, Sports & Fitness Industry Association
SILVER SPRING, MD – September 7, 2016 – For the second straight school year, PHIT America and the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) are pleased to announce that tens of thousands of school-age children in the U.S. are being introduced to an active, healthy lifestyle through PHIT America GO! Grants. During the current school year, 118 GO! Grants are being awarded to school-based physical activity programs in 29 states throughout the U.S.
The funding is coming from PHIT America and 23 of the leading brands in the sports and fitness industry. The purpose of the GO! Grants is to jumpstart increased physical activity in schools, increasing physical literacy skills, health and academic performance among students aged 5-12. The grants range in size from $1,000 to $5,000 per school. Last year’s PHIT America GO! Grants touched more than 50,000 U.S. school-age children. This year’s GO! Grants will impact another 50,000 kids in school. That’s more than 100,000 school children in two years who are and will be getting a healthy dose of GO! Grant-supported physical activity while at school.
To design and award the GO! Grants, conduct research, and collect results, PHIT America and the SFIA have enlisted the expertise of partner KIDS in the GAME, a national nonprofit with the mission to eliminate the financial barrier between all children and the chance to play sports.
In every PHIT America GO! Grant application, schools indicated the need for their students to develop their motor skills, reduce obesity, and increase physical literacy and fitness.
A year ago, PHIT America distributed much-needed funds to deserving schools in the U.S. that had requested financial help to improve their P.E. programs and school activity plans. At the beginning of 2015/2016 school year, 156 PHIT America GO! Grants were distributed to schools in 22 states. Again, with the initial round of GO! Grants last year, more than 50,000 children were impacted by the grants and a similar number of school children in the U.S. will benefit from the GO! Grants this year. PHIT America has a goal using GO! Grants as the vehicle to get one million children physically active at school by 2020.
From a business perspective, the GO! Grants have been an economic stimulus for the sports and fitness industry. After two years, the GO! Grants will have impacted the lives of more than 100,000 elementary age students in the U.S. The goal was to reach at least 21,000 students by the end of the first two years. That goal was exceeded.
From an economic perspective, based on research from Sports Marketing Surveys USA, physically active people spend more in the sports and fitness industry than physically inactive people. Based on the investment of $840,000 in GO! Grants in two years, which is impacting the lives of more than 100,000 students, it’s estimated that there will be an additional $70 million in consumer spending in the sports and fitness industry from the fall of 2015 through the spring of 2017.
The GO! Grants do more than stimulate spending in the sports business.
“When you consider that physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death in the world, 33 million American children are not active to healthy standards, and less than 50 percent of American schools offer P.E., it is time to intervene to help support physical activity in American schools,” says Jim Baugh, Founder, PHIT America. “This is a national team effort and we invite companies and organizations in the private and public sector to join us as we educate America about the power and importance of physical activity, especially for our students in elementary school.”
“The sports and fitness industry realizes that it can be an agent of change to improve the health of children throughout the U.S.,” said Tom Cove, CEO of the SFIA. “I want to thank the 23 companies in the sports & fitness industry that have come together and invested in the GO! Grants, which help get children off the couch and active. The ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ is a huge threat to the health of our country and our children. We are very excited with our results and look forward to expanding this critical program in 2017.”
“The schools we are supporting really need the assistance,” said Suzie Nixon, Executive Director of KIDS in the GAME. “We received so many great applications. We had to say “Sorry” this year, but hopefully we can support them in the future. The applications which received a grant are very excited about getting their children physically active.”
The grant winners this year are thrilled to have this financial support for their school’s PE classes.
"Receiving the GO! Grant will be a tremendous boost for our school’s physical education program,” says Ellen Smith of Gove Elementary School (Belle Glade, Florida). “It will make a profound and positive difference in the lives of our students. Thank you, PHIT America.”
“With access to this GO! Grant, we will be able to expose our students to the fun and benefits of a life filled with physical activity which will inspire them to participate in middle and high school sports and other activities,” says Jennifer Howie of Burlington Elementary School (Longmont, Colorado).
Recipients of GO! Grants last year remain very appreciative of the support.
“These GO! Grants were exactly what we need,” says Katherine Langdon, IPS Health & Wellness Facilitator, Shortridge High School (Indianapolis, Indiana). “Our school district has a strong commitment to helping our students be more active and these funds helped us engage those students in new and creative ways. We can’t thank everyone enough for this great support to get our students physically active, healthier and happier, too.”
“This GO! Grant allowed kids of all grade levels at our school to participate in a collaborative afterschool program,” says Marissa Ames, Power Ranch Elementary (Gilbert, Arizona). “Students in grades kindergarten through sixth learned how to incorporate health and fitness into their daily lives and participated in many fun runs.”
This type of feedback reinforces the importance of the work of PHIT America.
“When physical inactivity is being labeled as the biggest threat to public health in the 21st Century, it’s quite clear that every child in America must understand the importance of a physically active lifestyle,” says Mike May, PHIT America’s Director of Communications. “School P.E. programs are an ideal setting to motivate a resurgence of physical activity in America.”
PHIT America is inviting companies from outside the sports industry to get involved with the GO! Grants program.
“We at PHIT America are approaching many major general consumer companies about helping our cause and campaign. For the future of the U.S., we must get children more physically active for their personal health and the overall health of our country,” adds Baugh.
The 23 major sponsors of the 2016-17 GO! Grants program are Adidas, Augusta Sportswear, BOKS, Brooks, ETS, Everlast, Franklin, Head, Johnson Health Tech, Keiser, Life Fitness, Mizuno Sports USA, New Balance, Nike, Rawlings, Reebok, Riddell, SKLZ, Speedo, Sport Ngin, Under Armour, USTA, and Wilson Sporting Goods.
Founded in January 2013, PHIT America is a non-profit campaign focused on overcoming the severe ramifications of the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ through three strategic approaches – education, supporting school-based activity programs, and advocating – which will get Americans, especially our youth, more active, fit and healthy.
The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visitwww.sfia.org.