Over 300 advocates participated in the second annual Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Lobby Day to lobby for stronger physical education and Safe Routes to School funding. Everlast Climbing was especially interested in voicing support for the 2016 PE Bill SF343/HF498 which would strengthen physical education programs by adopting new standards and grade-specific benchmarks to strengthen physical education in schools. Currently, physical educators are using outdated standards from 2004. Updating the standards and benchmarks will give Minnesota schools better information to design, execute and evaluate their local curriculum.
In attendance from Everlast Climbing was Mertyce Mrvos, Coordinator of Programs and Partnerships. She met with State Representative Ron Erhardt, Senator Melisa Franzen and her Legislative Assistant, Thomas Melton. “Children who receive regular, quality physical education are 2 ½ times more likely to be active adults. They also learn more effectively and achieve more academically,” said Mrvos. “I was thrilled to see that legislators are in favor of strengthening physical education with this bill.”
Childhood obesity is a major health concern for Minnesota, with nearly 1 in 4 of its high school students being overweight or obese. Obesity is linked to 14 types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Physical activity improves health and reduces risk of these chronic diseases. 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 youth 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 physical education and youth fitness is part of our company’s mission,” said Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing. “We regularly communicate the importance of physical education and are eager to play a part in strengthening physical education in our state.”
About Everlast Climbing
Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at: everlastclimbing.com.