From the Executive Director
March 6, 2007 marked the 17th annual National Sportsmanship Day (http://www.internationalsport.com/nsd/index.cfm) promoted by the Institute of International Sport (http://www.internationalsport.com/index.html). I was pleased to serve as honorary co-chair of this event with Steve Young and to present the sportsmanship message to students at Coeus International School in Washington, D.C. (http://www.fitness.gov/enewsletter/Spring07_nat_sportsmanship_day_at_coeus.htm) Thanks to Olympian speedskater Nathaniel Mills, who also serves as the school's physical education and peace education teacher, we engaged in a healthy dialogue on the importance of playing fair and good sportsmanship. Sports play an integral role in getting more people of all ages up and moving. From Little League baseball and high school athletic teams to adult softball leagues and the Senior Games, sports can influence and be a part of everyone’s life. However, one negative experience—a competitor who breaks the rules, an overzealous coach or parent, or a foul-mouthed spectator can ruin the sporting experience. Getting people to participate is one thing, it’s another to ensure players, coaches, and spectators are helping to make the experience positive for everyone involved. I encourage you to read the Council member feature on Susan Dell (http://www.fitness.gov/enewsletter/Spring07_featurearticle.htm). Susan’s dedication to her own fitness is just as impressive as her dedication to helping others enjoy the benefits of physical activity and sports—especially that of her own kids!
Before we know it, May will be here and we will be celebrating National Physical Fitness and Sports Month (http://www.fitness.gov/May Month/may_month_toolkit.htm). I hope you’ve started planning your activities to help celebrate the month. In many locations across the nation, the temperatures in May make it easy to be active outdoors. If you work in an office or manage a team, think about ways you can help your colleagues be active this spring and summer and even into the fall. Check out a local intramural sports league or see if you can get a group of co-workers and their families together to form your own league. Many local 5K road races and walks take place throughout the fall and May is a perfect time to encourage people to start their training and a great way to keep them motivated throughout the summer. You may want to consider using the President’s Challenge website (http://www.presidentschallenge.org/) as the tracking tool where your teammates or co-workers can log their training activities and keep them motivated throughout the training process. We’ve included follow-up information on Paul Carrozza’s efforts in Texas (http://www.fitness.gov/enewsletter/Spring07_featurearticle.htm#worksitewellnessupdate) to promote employee health through the Texas Coalition for Worksite Wellness CEO Summit and the continued efforts in Ohio to motivate Ohio businesses to be more engaged in promoting employee health through the Healthy Ohioans program, an initiative that started under the direction of Dr. J. Nick Baird (http://www.fitness.gov/bio_baird.htm).
Throughout April, May, and June, there are many national recognition weeks and days (http://www.fitness.gov/enewsletter/Spring07-markyourcalendar.htm) to promote all aspects of outdoor activity, especially the conservation and volunteer activities that are necessary to be sure we continue to have wonderful spaces to enjoy well into the future. Planting trees or native flowers, picking up trash, or maintaining trails all provide great opportunities to benefit your body, mind, and the land you enjoy. It’s also an opportune time to introduce a child to a new outdoor activity and teach him or her the importance of conserving the many natural resources we have around us. Plus, your body will benefit from the extra activity!
I look forward to reporting back to you on how the Council celebrated May, which will include the announcement of the winners of our new Lifetime Achievement Award (http://www.fitness.gov/about_lifetime_award.htm) and Community Recognition Awards (http://www.fitness.gov/about_community_award.htm). We know there are numerous individuals across the country that have advanced physical activity, fitness, and sports and the PCPFS looks forward to recognizing those individuals and learning more about their efforts. While we plan to make this an annual recognition, if you have someone you would like to be considered as one of the first honorees, be sure to get your application in by April 1!All my best,
Melissa Johnson, M.S.
17th Annual National Sportsmanship Day
March 6, 2007, marked the 17th annual National Sportsmanship Day (http://www.internationalsport.com/nsd/index.cfm) celebration world-wide. This year, PCPFS Executive Director, Melissa Johnson, served with Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, Steve Young, as honorary co-chairs for the event.
To celebrate National Sportsmanship Day, Coeus International School (http://www.coeusis.org/default.asp?bhcp=1) in Washington, DC, invited Melissa to speak in honor of the event. Olympic speedskater, Nathaniel Mills, who works at the school as their Director of Athletics and Peace Education, facilitated a dialogue between Melissa and students at the school about the importance of practicing good sportsmanship throughout all aspects of life, and the negative effects of showing poor sportsmanship.
Students performed a short demonstration about sportsmanship, and awards were given to several students at the school for specific examples of good sportsmanship that they had engaged in throughout the year.
Council Members' Activities
Check us out
May 30-June 2
Susan Dell (http://www.fitness.gov/bio_dell.htm) is a savvy, hard working business woman as well as a wife, mother of four, and a multi-sport athlete. She is a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (http://www.msdf.org/), which is dedicated to improving the lives of children in large urban areas around the world through health and educational programming. Susan blends her creativity with her business sense in her role as Chairman of the Board of Phi (http://www.phicollection.com/), a women’s clothing line that made its runway debut in New York in 2004. However, she doesn’t feel her business success would be possible without her fitness outlets, which she relies on heavily not only for the health benefits, but because it helps her deal with the daily stressors of life and it’s a good way to spend some time with her family. To say Susan is “fit” is putting it mildly. She competes in marathons, triathlons and cycling races and has been very successful at all three. She set the women’s course record in the 2006 Sea to Stars Mauna Kea Road Race; set the 2005 record on the Cooper Clinic Aerobic Stress Test for women aged 40-44; finished first place overall and set the women’s course record for the 2004 Kaloko Cycling Race; and completed the 2003 Ironman Triathlon World Championship.
PCPFSNews asked Susan about the work she does whether she’s wearing her business suit or her workout gear.
Q: Recently, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation gave a gift to the University of Texas at Austin (http://www.utexas.edu/) to establish the Center for Advancement of Healthy Living, a core focus of which will be to conduct research that sheds light on environmental and behavioral aspects that affect healthy living. (This research will utilize existing information from the successful Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program, a K-5 and family-based program). Can you comment on the role parents or teachers play encouraging a child to be active?
A: It’s extremely important for all children to have mentors encouraging them in everything they do. It’s particularly inspiring when starting something new or trying to reach new levels of success. So many people can play a mentoring role to a child if they simply take an interest, ask questions, listen, and provide positive feedback.
Q: Your own children are very active. Is there anything you feel you have done to influence this?
A: The biggest thing Michael (Susan’s husband) and I do are to serve as positive role models. Our children see us try new activities, set goals for ourselves, and overcome obstacles. All of our kids have different interests and we support their individuality by letting them excel at what they do best. Each of them is very active and they play a variety of outdoor sports. As a family we do a lot of activities together such as running 5K and 10K road races, water and snow skiing, biking, tennis, swimming, and snorkeling.
Q: Given all that you are involved in both professionally and personally, how do you fit in your workouts or training runs?
A: After getting the kids off to school, my training is my next priority. It’s where I do my best thinking and strategizing and sets my day up for success.
Q: What kind of satisfaction do you get from being active?
A: Being active is a huge part of my life. Without doing something each day to maintain or improve my fitness, I feel my creativity would be negatively affected.
Q: Have you always been active or did there come a certain point in your life when you made the decision to be so?
A: My father, brothers and I have always been very active. We trained and competed in events together. I would say that I became very focused on being a competitive triathlete and cyclist in college, something I continue to this day.
Q: Are there any Austin area programs that you feel have been particularly successful helping children to be active?
A: The Marathon Kids* (http://www.marathonkids.com/site/) program because it gets kids started by taking small steps and then, before they know it, the kids have put in enough miles to complete a marathon. Anyone who has run a marathon knows what a great accomplishment that is.
PCPFSNews Worksite Wellness Update:
In an effort to spotlight the importance of worksite health, PCPFSNews featured Council member Paul Carrozza (http://www.fitness.gov/bio_carrozza.htm) and the Corporate PE program he started in our winter issue. Paul and Texas Governor Rick Perry (http://www.governor.state.tx.us/about) served as co-hosts of the Texas Coalition for Worksite Wellness (TCWW) (http://www.txworksitewellness.org/jointhecoalition.aspx) CEO Summit, which recognized the importance of engaging company leaders in employee health and the ways to address the impact of employee health on the bottom line. The TCWW website has presentations from the summit’s speakers (http://www.txworksitewellness.org/events_detail.aspx?event=1003). In addition, the success of the summit helped lead to the establishment of regional “Ounce of Prevention” workshops (http://www.txworksitewellness.org/spotlight_detail.aspx?spotlight=1004), which are designed to help Texas businesses deal with rising health care costs.
Ohio continues to promote the Healthy Ohioans program (www.healthyohioans.org) and the Healthy Ohioans Business Council, which was established under the direction of J. Nick Baird, M.D.. One of the efforts of this Council is to recognize Ohio businesses that are committed to employee health through comprehensive worksite health promotion programs. For more information on Ohio’s Healthy Worksite Award and other efforts of its parent program, please visit their website (http://www.healthyohioans.org/businesses/businesses.aspx).
*The Marathon Kids program is implemented in cities nationwide. The mention of the program here does not constitute an endorsement by the PCPFS or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mark Your Calendar
National Institutes of Health
Improving Diet and Physical Activity Assessment (R21)
Application Receipt/Submission Date(s): Multiple dates, see announcement (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-07-218.html).
Non-Profit Grant Opportunities
Project Learning Tree (PLT)
These "learning-by-doing" environmental projects must focus on:
Grants up to $5,000 are available. The first round of proposals are due April 30, 2007 and a second funding cycle will be available in the Fall. For more information, visit the Project Learning Tree Web site (http://www.plt.org/cms/pages/31_41_44.html).
More information on grants and other governmental funding mechanisms can be found on Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/). In addition, the NCPPA E-newsletter (http://www.ncppa.org/enewsletters.asp) lists grants available from a variety of national organizations.
President's Challenge Program Updates
The Council is pleased to recognize Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher (http://governor.ky.gov/biography/) for his efforts promoting physical activity to Kentuckians through the Get Healthy Kentucky (GHK) Governor’s Challenge (http://www.gethealthy.ky.gov/splash/govchallenge.htm). GHK is the statewide wellness initiative launched by Gov. Fletcher earlier this year to help residents improve physical activity and nutrition habits and to reduce tobacco usage. The GHK Governor’s Challenge partnered with the President’s Challenge to encourage people of all ages, organizations, and businesses to be active and to track that activity on-line using the President’s Challenge website (http://www.presidentschallenge.org/). By completing any one of the different award programs, residents are eligible to earn a variety of prizes.
Look for the President’s Challenge exhibit at the following locations:
Science Board News and Notes
The latest research published by PCPFS Science Board (http://fitness.gov/about_scienceboard.htm) members:
Debbie Young, Ph.D.: Lead author, “Policies and opportunities for physical activity in middle school environments.” Jrnl School Health. Jan 2007;77(2):41-7.
Barb Ainsworth, Ph.D.: Co-author, “Use of nonprescription dietary supplements for weight loss is common among Americans.” Jrnl Am. Dietetic Assoc. Mar 2007;107(3):441-7.
Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Ph.D.: Co-author, “Lower HDL-cholesterol among healthy middle-aged Japanese-Brazilians in Sao Paulo compared to natives and Japanese-Brazilians in Japan.” Eur Jrnl Epidemiology. 2007;22(1):33-42.Thom McKenzie, Ph.D.: Co-author, “Contribution of public parks to physical activity.” Am Jrnl Pub Health. Mar 2007;97(3):509-14.
What's New at HHS
January 22, 2007 marked the launch of the HealthierFeds Physical Activity Challenge (http://www.opm.gov/healthierfeds). The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and Office of Personnel Management teamed up to encourage the federal family to be more active. More than 38,000 individuals and retirees from all three branches of government and their family members registered on the President’s Challenge website (http://www.presidentschallenge.org/). Individuals must meet the minimum physical activity requirement of 30 minutes a day (60 minutes for children 6-17), 5 days a week, for 6 weeks in order to complete the program, which officially ends on April 1, 2007. The agency with the highest percentage of registrants who complete the program will be recognized as the winner of this year’s Challenge. The program was launched in conjunction with OPM Director Linda Springer’s (http://opm.gov/About_opm/ExecutiveTeam/LindaSpringer.asp) designation of 2007 as The Year of the Healthier Fed.
National Children’s Study
The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of environmental influences on human health and development by enrolling a representative sample of more than 100,000 infants from across the United States and following them from before birth until age 21.
The request for proposals represents the next step in implementing the study, which began in 2005 with the awarding of contracts to seven initial centers across the U.S. Visit www.nationalchildrensstudy.gov for more information.
View the request for proposals page (http://www1.fbo.gov/spg/HHS/NIH/NICHD/RFP-NIH-NICHD-NCS-07-11/Attachments.html).
National Diabetes Education Program
The Eagle Books are a series of four books featuring animal characters, Mr. Eagle and Miss Rabbit, and Coyote, who engage Rain That Dances and his young friends in the joy of physical activity, eating healthy foods, and learning from their elders about health and diabetes prevention. To order a teacher’s guide, download free coloring books, or find out how to order the Eagle Books, visit CDC's website (http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/eagle.htm).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
VERB Campaign Resources
Office on Women’s Health
Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
Report from the Stanford Prevention Research Center
Report from Action for Healthy Kids