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Join the Presidential Fitness Partners in May
Mark the month of
May on your calendar and join us in celebration.
Since 1983, May has been observed as National Physical
Fitness and Sports Month. Individuals and organizations everywhere have
joined in the fun to promote awareness of the value of physical activity
in the pursuit of happier, healthier, more productive lives.
To further this vital mission, the President's Council on
Physical Fitness and Sports reached out in 1994 to both public and
private organizations to form the Presidential Fitness Partners in May.
By working together in this partnership, our individual health and
fitness messages will achieve increased public resonance.
Let's move Americans to move themselves in a healthier way
this month (and throughout the year). Here are some tips for reaching
out during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
HOW TO GET STARTED
One agency in your area such
as a school, company, recreation department, or club should assume
leadership and pull together representatives from other local agencies
to help. A series of planning and organizing meetings should be held to
discuss responsibilities. Committees such as publicity, program
development, fund-raising, etc., should be selected. Keep them small and
efficient. A lot of work is required to stage a successful fitness month
celebration; therefore, everyone selected must be willing to devote time
and make a commitment.
FINANCING THE CELEBRATION
It has been demonstrated
that a two or three day program can be staged effectively with little
cost. The effort would certainly be helped if each cooperating agency
would provide some financing for preliminary planning purposes.
Additional funds may be solicited from local businesses.
following guidelines may make a fundraising solicitation more productive.
Develop an itemized budget plan with full explanation.
Select a committee of no more than three people to execute the fund
Select a list of companies to be solicited from the local telephone
Contact the business early. Ask each to contribute an equal share
of the budget.
Establish and maintain a bank account and expense ledger for these
Offer some type of benefit to each contributer, such as recognition
in the offical program. and in public advertisements.
A National Physical Fitness
and Sports Month event plan should include the following elements:
Begin planning far enough in advance.
Get early commitments on location and space, particularly in areas
such as shopping malls.
Decide which activities will be included.
Develop a schedule of events.
Obtain official proclamations from the governor and/or the mayor or
Solicit the assistance of as many local organizations as possible.
Form committees and delegate responsibilities.
Solicit sponsorship and financial support from local business and
Include the media in all planning and proide frequent and
continuous information on progress. Work closely with the media and try
to get as much publicity as possible.
Community agencies have
sponsored a variety of fitness events that have proven successful
Fitness/Health Fair - A special celebration with
participating groups such as the local medical association, heart
association, chamber of commerce, business and industry, educational
institutions, or clubs. It may be conducted at local malls, in shopping
centers, schools, or designated recreation centers.
Fitness Festival - An organized series of fitness
activities involving school, recreation, business and industry, and/or
other sports and fitness agencies. Outstanding fitness activities may be
highlighted or new fitness programs introduced to the public, that can
then be carried out on a long-term basis.
Fitness Talks/Lectures/Film Showings Television. Create
increased awareness of and participation in local fitness activities by
inviting national/state experts, local physicians, health officials, and
fitness professionals to participate in talk and lecture programs, film
discussions, and/or television shows.
Distance/Fun Runs/Fitness Walks - Many agencies and groups
promote such events as part of their regular fitness programs, and these
may be tied into Fitness Month. Assistence may bea available from local
running clubs or such groups as the National Road Runners of America. It
is extremely important, however, that necessary precautions for
emergency care are observed in planning and conducting distance runs.
Social Events - Include community fun days, cormbinations
of multiple events, proclamation-signing or reading ceremonies by the
governor, mayor, etc., at the end or beginning of an event. This can be
done by calling a press conference and inviting medical personnel to
cover the initial day or the opening of each agency's celebration.
Sports For All Day - Agencies/organizations may wish to
schedule a series of sports events, tournaments, and other athletic
activities highlighting their participation in the celebration.
Fitness/Sports Testing - Assistance should be enlisted from
local medical groups, universities, and/or fitness/sports experts.
Other Suggestions - Take this opportunity to launch your
community's Presidential Sports Award Program or assist your school and
others who conduct the President's Challenge Youth Fitness Test (top
achievers are eligible for the Presidential Physical Fitness Award).
Aspects of the program may include a focus on youth fitness,
employee fitness, fitness for special populations, and events of special
emphasis such as 10K runs, volksmarches, walking tours, fitness
assessment, and sporting events.
PROMOTION AND PUBLICITY
A promotion and publicity
program are key elements for maximizing participation. Involve the media
(television, radio, newspaper) early because they may provide assistance
A fitness or wellness committee may be
established to handle this aspect. A face-to-face meeting will help to
establish a good relationship.
Make initial media contact at least two months in advance. The more help you
will need, the earlier the media should be contacted.
An early discussion of plans with representatives from the media must be followed
by a complete schedule of activities. Local weeklies may want to print the entire
schedule of events, with times, locations, and phone numbers to contact for
The Sample Proclamation
you'll use is as follows:
Whereas, The President's Council on Physical Fitness and
Sports has designated the month of May (date) and (year) as National
Physical Fitness and Sports Month; and created the Presidential Fitness
Partners in May;
Whereas, National Physical Fitness and Sports month is our
country's observance of fitness and sports. Many agencies have initiated
programs designed to improve our quality of life. As partners, we can
better help one another communicate the common message of improved
health through physical activity more effectively; and
Whereas, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a time when we can do
something special to direct deserved national attention to the benefits
of physical activity.
Now, therefore, I (name) (governor) or (mayor) of the (name of city or state),
do hereby proclaim the month of May (date) and (year) as "Physical Fitness and
Sports Month" in (city) or (state) and urge our community to promote physical activity in
recognition of this month.
FITNESS MONTH FOLLOW-UP
Coordinators are encouraged to send us news clippings and releases. A
summary of our efforts in the national campaign will then be compiled and
Coordinators may request assistance from the Council for
planning and implementing events. For further information contact:
Presidential Fitness Partners in May
President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 250
Washington, D.C. 20004