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Press Release

Friday, October 1, 2010

Governor's Press Office
(850) 488-5394

Governor Crist Announces 2010 Fitness Challenge School Winners

~ Eight-week school-based program boosts children’s participation in physical fitness activities ~

www.GovernorsFitnessChallenge.com www.HealthyFloridians.com

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today announced eight elementary schools and eight middle schools as the 2010 winners of the Governor’s Fitness Challenge, an eight-week school-based program to help boost children’s participation in physical fitness activities. Governor Crist also announced the launch of the redesigned Governor’s Fitness Challenge Web site and revised Challenge activities developed in partnership with a team of physical education teachers statewide.

“I am proud of the students and teachers who are already helping set an example for healthy lifestyles in Florida,” said Governor Crist. “I also look forward to continuing their efforts by encouraging more Floridians to help emphasize the importance of physical fitness and making smart nutritional choices.”

Sixteen public or private schools with at least 50 percent of their students participating in the challenge were randomly selected to receive $1,000 to purchase sports or fitness equipment. Activities for the Fitness Challenge were developed in conjunction with grants from BlueCross and BlueShield of Florida and Keiser University to provide the award funding for the winning schools to purchase sports or fitness equipment.

Winners of the 2010 Governor’s Fitness Challenge are:
Elementary School Recipients
  • Healthy Learning Academy Charter School, Gainesville, Alachua County
  • Lake Sybelia Elementary, Maitland, Orange County
  • Liza Jackson Preparatory School, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa County
  • Hillcrest Elementary, Orlando, Orange County
  • Emma Love Hardee Elementary, Fernandina Beach, Nassau County
  • Bay Meadows Elementary, Orlando, Orange County
  • Coquina Elementary, Titusville, Brevard County
  • West Creek Elementary, Orlando, Orange County
Middle School Recipients
  • Hope Charter School, Ocoee, Orange County
  • The Villages Charter School, The Villages, Sumter County
  • Gulf Breeze Middle, Gulf Breeze, Santa Rosa County
  • West Glades, Labelle, Glades County
  • Altha Public School, Altha, Calhoun County
  • Challenger K-8 School of Science and Math, Spring Hill, Hernando County
  • Discovery Academy, Lake Alfred, Polk County
  • Dunnellon Middle, Dunnellon, Marion County
About the Governor’s Fitness Challenge Web Site
The interactive Web site, created through a grant from AT&T Foundation, allows easier access for students to register for the Fitness Challenge, track their progress and see the results. This year’s challenge began September 1, 2010, for elementary schools and will begin on November 18, 2010, for middle schools. Home schooled students are also encouraged to participate and will have increased access to the new Web site.

Throughout the school year, collegiate, professional and Olympian athletes and professional chefs will provide encouraging messages, theme-based activities, healthy recipes and safety tips on the Web site. Initial theme-based activities will be provided by Dave Andreychuk, Jennifer Capriati, Shannon Miller, Chef Emeril Lagasse, Kelly Slater, council member and nine-time world championship surfer, and Mike Lowell of the Boston Red Sox. Dave Andreychuk, captain of the 2004 Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, and the Tampa Bay Lightning hosted today’s awards ceremony for the winning schools.

To participate in the Governor’s Fitness Challenge or for more information, please visit the redesigned Web site at www.GovernorsFitnessChallenge.com.

About the Governor’s Fitness Challenge
The Governor’s Fitness Challenge aims to reach as many children as possible. The main activities and exercises of the eight-week challenge can be modified to accommodate students with special needs or disabilities. Homeschool students and students who attend a school that does not participate in the challenge can still participate individually. Assistance for modifying and implementing the program for these groups will be available throughout the challenge.

The Fitness Challenge program has been developed by the Executive Office of the Governor, the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Department of Education, Titus Sports Academy and Florida’s Foundation. BlueCross and BlueShield of Florida is this year’s sponsor for the 2010-11 Fitness Challenge.

This fitness challenge is not meant to replace any existing fitness programs, but to provide an additional opportunity for Florida’s students to develop healthy living habits.

About the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness
The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness is a partnership created by Executive Order 07-52. Comprised of 23 professionals with varying expertise from government, businesses, athletes, community organizations and private citizens, the council is chaired by Derrick Brooks, All Pro Linebacker and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers captain; and co-chaired by Shannon Miller and Tim Tebow, student and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at the University of Florida.

The council was established to develop a state plan of action to increase physical fitness through regular exercise and sound nutrition practices among Floridians of all ages and to reduce the rate of obesity and resulting chronic diseases in Floridians within the next 10 years. The state plan of action contains 39 recommendations that address physical education in schools, improvement of school lunches, and enhancing the ability of Floridians to walk or bike to work and school. To learn more about the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, please visit www.HealthyFloridians.com.