Governor Gina M. Raimondo and National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) Chairman Jake Steinfeld recently announced that Rhode Island was selected as one of four states this year to receive a $300,000 fitness equipment gift from the foundation as part of its DON’T QUIT!Campaign. The NFGFC will deliver a state-of-the-art DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center to three Rhode Island schools for demonstrating leadership in getting and keeping their students fit.

“When we help children become physically active today, it pays dividends well into the future,” said Governor Gina Raimondo in a press release. “This is a great program, and I’m grateful for the generous support of Jake Steinfeld and the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils to help improve the health and lives of children across our state.”

“Childhood obesity is a serious problem that can follow a child into adulthood. I’ve declared war on this preventable disease and it’s inspiring to see elected leaders like Governor Gina Raimondo immediately jump on board to join the battle and welcome us into their state. Every governor we’ve partnered with recognizes that obesity is neither a democrat nor republican issue, it’s a kids’ issue and all have vowed to do everything possible to help,” said Jake Steinfeld in a press release.  “So far we’ve delivered DON’T QUIT! Fitness Centers to 28 states and Washington, DC and the response from students, teachers, and communities has been unbelievable.  Kids are excited about working out and being physically active and, as a result, their academic performance and self-esteem have skyrocketed.  Now, Rhode Island schools have an opportunity to make a change that will have a lasting impact on kids well into their future.”

School nominations will be accepted starting today and will run through Friday, March 22, 2019. All Rhode Island schools interested in being nominated must fill out a short application and include a written essay or short video. The application can be downloaded at http://natgovfit.org/nominate-your-school/.

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The NFGFC program will make its way into all 50 states in the coming years. Each fitness center is financed through partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Anthem Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. TuffStuff Fitness International provides all the fitness equipment, which is manufactured in the United States.

“I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact fitness centers have had on students and their communities. When you provide schools with the tools and inspiration, you’ll be amazed by the changes that take place,” continued Steinfeld in a press release.  “Children are our most precious resource and by providing them with a strong foundation in health and fitness, we can feel confident that they’ll excel beyond their wildest dreams.”

Physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life, and reduce health care costs.  In schools, studies show that physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism, and fosters better interpersonal relationships.

For more information about the NFGFC or to download a nomination form, visit www.natgovfit.org.

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