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Approximately 300 advocates participated in the first annual Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Lobby Day to lobby for physical education, active transportation and the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). Everlast Climbing was especially interested in voicing support for the 2015 PE Bill SF343/HF498 which would strengthen physical education programs by adopting new grade-specific benchmarks, require annual student assessments and other measures to strengthen physical education in schools.
In attendance from Everlast Climbing was Mertyce Mrvos, Coordinator of Programs and Partnerships. She met with State Representative Rick Hansen, State Representative Joe Atkins and State Senator James Metzen. “Physical education plays a key role in the health and wellbeing of children,” said Mrvos. “In our meetings, it was clear that the legislators understood this. They were very supportive of legislation to strengthen physical education.”
Results from the most recent National Survey of Children’s Health reveal that 27% of Minnesota children ages 10-17 are overweight or obese. It is no surprise that Minnesota children are falling short of the CDC-recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. According to the latest Minnesota Student Survey, less than half of students report having had 60 minutes of physical activity in five or more days of the last week. Quality physical education in schools is one way to increase physical activity levels in youth. It also promotes enjoyable participation in physical activity and helps students develop the knowledge, attitudes, motor and behavioral skills, and confidence needed to improve physical fitness and adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle throughout their lifetime.
“Advocating for youth fitness is very important to our company. It’s especially rewarding to participate in an event like this that will benefit the youth in our state,” said Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing.