September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. As kids head back to school, this national designation brings attention to the importance of physical activity each day, alongside reading, writing and arithmetic. While physical activity is known to lower the risk of obesity in children, new research suggests it may also help them perform better in school. As the Saucony Run for Good Foundation announces its latest round of grant winners, Saucony continues to encourage and support community-based programs that give kids more opportunities to run and be active.
The following organizations have been selected to receive a Saucony Run For Good Foundation grant:
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Wausau Area, Wausau, Wisc.
Nicolas County Board of Education, Carlisle, Ken.
Camp Harbor View, Boston, Mass.
Marathon High, Austin, Texas
TrackShack Foundation, Orlando, Florida
Marathon Kids, Austin, Texas
Van Wert Elementary School, Van Wert, Ohio
“The problem of childhood obesity should be of great concern to everyone since it impacts so many kids on so many levels, including school performance,” said Richie Woodworth, president of Saucony and the Saucony Run For Good Foundation Board of Directors. “With so many schools reducing or eliminating their physical education programs due to budget cuts, all of us need to work together - families, communities and schools?to give our kids opportunities for physical activity before, during and after school.”
Since 2006, the Saucony Run For Good Foundation has awarded more than $1 million dollars in grants to schools and community organizations all dedicated to preventing childhood obesity through running and an active lifestyle.
“The grant provided by the Saucony Run For Good Foundation will make a real difference for the kids at Camp Harbor View,” said Jack Connors, Jr., Camp Harbor View co-founder. “These funds have the ability to be transformational to many underprivileged inner-city youth who may now go on to join middle and high school track teams, or even one day run the Boston Marathon. With the love of running fostered, our kids will be on track to lead healthy, active and productive lifestyles now and in the future.”
Saucony invites the running community to help double the brand’s donations to the selected grant recipients by logging miles on the GPS-enabled Saucony Run4Good App, the running industry’s first-ever app dedicated to battling childhood obesity. Please visit http://scny.co/RUN4GOODvideo to watch a video about the Saucony Run4Good app. The Saucony Run4Good iPhone app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store. The Android version of the Saucony Run4Good app can also be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. Links to both versions of the Saucony Run4Good app can be found at saucony.com/run4good.
“National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month helps raise awareness about this epidemic and encourages all of us to take steps toward a solution,” said Susan K. Hartman, associate publisher of Runner’s World magazine and a member of the Saucony Run For Good Board of Directors. “All of us at the Saucony Run For Good Foundation hope that our help with this national effort continues to make a difference - reversing the trend by getting more kids running.”
The following organizations have been selected to receive a Saucony Run For Good Foundation grant. Over the next six months (September, 2014 through February, 2014), each of the top six selected grant recipients listed below will be a monthly feature on the Saucony Run4Good app. When a predetermined community mileage goal is reached during the recipient’s featured month, Saucony will double its contribution to the selected organization.
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Wausau Area, Wausau, WI (September 2014): The Get FitWalking/Running Club meets twice weekly to walk and run various routes and participate in different cardiac activities at points along the route. Members accumulate points based on participation levels to reach an award. Points are based on distance, behavior, encouraging others, positive attitude, giving their best effort and attaining their personal goals. http://www.bgclub.com/
Nicolas County Board of Education, Carlisle, KY (October 2014): The overall goal of the program is to make positive change in students’ lives through the use of running as a life activity rather than just exercise. The Bluejacket RUN club will meet at least twice a week. Additionally, the program will make use of guest speakers and nutritional programs. http://www.nicholas.k12.ky.us/
Camp Harbor View, Boston, MA (November 2014): Co-founded by former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Boston businessman Jack Connors, Jr., Camp Harbor View is an initiative of the not-for-profit Camp Harbor View Foundation, Inc. in partnership with the City of Boston and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. The summer program’s immediate goal is to remove Boston’s youth from the city streets and provide them with a natural, safe place to exercise, make friends and be kids. The summer camp will expand their Health and Wellness Club with a running program, including the repurpose of a rarely used roadway into a track straightaway. http://chvf.org/
Marathon High, Austin TX (December 2014): The mission of Marathon High is to promote balanced, healthy lifestyles to young adults and show them that they can achieve anything they put their heart into, all by simply running. Marathon High, an offshoot of the Rogue Running training center for Austin athletes, is a free after school running program for underserved 6th to 12th graders in the Austin area. The program is structured around competing in the Austin Marathon. http://marathonhigh.com/
TrackShack Foundation, Orlando, FL (January 2015): The TrackShack Foundation was established for the purpose of promoting and encouraging community health and fitness programs with an emphasis on youth programs. Annually, TSF hosts the Smile Mile competition, a kids running event for ages 4 to 11.The grant is for partial funding of the 2015 Smile Mile Race which continues to explode with participation from children located in 5 Florida counties. http://www.trackshack.com/foundation.php
Marathon Kids, Austin, TX (February 2015): Marathon Kids partners with schools to create and maintain healthy families and communities. Through the 26.2 Mile Challenge, children develop healthy habits and behaviors that last a lifetime. The RFG grant will help Marathon Kids, founded in Austin, TX, expand their program in Los Angeles. http://www.marathonkids.org/
Van Wert Elementary School, Van Wert, Ohio: The school’s after-school running club has evolved to include not just running but strength and flexibility activities as well as nutrition education. The RFG grant will help support the program’s increased participation and fund a one mile Turkey Trot in November for the school community. The community’s middle and high school cross country teams will take an active role in motivating the children. http://www.polk.k12.ga.us/school_home.aspx?schoolid=8
For grant applications on how the Saucony Run For Good Foundation can help local youth communities nationwide, visit www.sauconyrunforgood.com.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has more than tripled over the past 30 years. One of five children age 6 to 11 is now being considered obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. If this problem is not solved, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma.