Speaking in Dallas, Texas last Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama joined U.S. Olympians, Paralympians and London hopefuls to announce a nationwide commitment to get more than 1.7 million American children active.
From being on hand to debut healthier school lunches to dancing with a flash mob, Michelle Obama has dedicated herself to the cause of defeating childhood obesity in a generation with her “Let’s Move!” program, and to getting kids out into nature.
Nine of the sports federations under the U.S. Olympic Committee purview, along with the U.S. Olympians Association and U.S. Paralymics, have committed resources to help reach children this summer.
Through commitments to the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), U.S. Paralympics, the U.S. Olympians Association, and USOC National Governing Bodies for sport, including USA Cycling/USA BMX, U.S. Soccer, USA Swimming, USA Track & Field, US Tennis Association, USA Field Hockey and USA Volleyball, these organizations will provide beginner athletic programming to more than 1.7 million kids in 2012.
USA Swimming, for example, will enroll 530,000 new learn-to-swim participants, while USA Cycling will provide free races, clinics and memberships at 350 BMX tracks nationwide. Field hockey, gymnastics, soccer, tennis, track and field, volleyball and basketball also will participate. You can see the full list of options by clicking here.
The First Lady, who will lead the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer, is working to turn the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games into action by getting more kids healthy and active. In March, Obama welcomed Samantha Cameron to the United States by hosting a mini-Olympics event for local school children and two weeks ago, she spoke at the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Warrior Games.
From The Salt Lake Tribune:
“Many of these kids will be playing some of these sports for the very first time,” Obama said, “and that is so important, because sometimes … all it takes is that first lesson or that first clinic or that first class to get a child excited about a sport.”
After an introduction by swimmer Natalie Coughlin, an 11-time Olympic medalist who acknowledged her nervousness at the podium, Obama said she is “beyond proud” to be the one who will lead the presidential delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the London Games this summer.
She also praised the Olympians behind her for inspiring generations of children.
“This summer, my hope is together with our children, we can support Team USA not just by cheering them on, but by striving to live up to the example they set,” she said.
Michelle Obama has been leading a nationwide effort to combat childhood obesity so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight. The Letís Move! initiative is a comprehensive, collaborative, and community-oriented initiative that has sought to engage every sector of society to tackle head-on the many different factors that lead to childhood obesity.
As a firm believer in the importance of getting our kids active, and eating healthier meals, I applaud the First Lady for her passion in pursuing this cause. Let’s hope all 1.7 million kids sign up for these great programs!
Photo Credit: Phil Roeder