Friday, March 08, 2013

Eli Manning, Reebok Join Let's Move! Campaign; Company Makes $30 Million Pledge

Sportswear giant will expand BOKS kids' fitness program to support Let's Move! Active Schools initiative...
Washington, DC -- First Lady Michelle Obama was joined by NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning on Friday at George Washington University, ahead of her keynote address for Partnership for a Healthier America's (PHA) second national childhood obesity summit.  The two-time Super Bowl MVP and Reebok brand ambassador announced that the company is donating $30 million over the next three years to organizations and activities that promote kids'  physical activity and fitness, in support of Mrs. Obama's newest Let's Move! initiative, Let's Move! Active Schools (Above, Manning, center, backstage with PHA honorary vice chairs Mayor Cory Booker and Sen. Bill Frist)

Mrs. Obama unveiled the massive project during a visit to Chicago last week as part of the celebration for the Let's Move! third anniversary.

"Just last week, we launched Let’s Move! Active Schools, an unprecedented effort to promote physical activity and bring physical education back to our schools," Mrs. Obama said.  "And today, we are beyond thrilled to announce that Reebok is joining this effort with a commitment to get our kids active."

Manning is the spokesman for the Massachusetts-based Reebok's BOKS program, a free, before-school physical activity program that is "currently in hundreds of elementary schools around the country," according to the company, which says it has already invested $5 million in the project over the last three years. 

The $30 million will be used to expand the BOKS program to more than 600 schools next year, and more than 1,000 by 2015, according to Partnership for a Healthier America, the foundation that oversees private-sector commitments to Let's Move!.

"Anything I can do to ensure that kids growing up today have the same passion for sports and fitness that I do, is something that is very important to me," Manning said. "Through BOKS, we are encouraging these kids to lead a healthier and happier life, and we need to keep encouraging more kids throughout the country."

As part of its overall commitment to PHA, Reebok has also teamed up with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to "be a resource to schools enrolled in the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program." Reebok will help further develop "BOKS Burst," a condensed version of the BOKS curriculum comprised of 2-to 5-minute physical activity breaks for teachers around the country to use. The BOKS Burst program will be distributed to 14,000 Alliance for a Healthier Generation schools, reaching an estimated 2 million youth, PHA said.

"Reebok’s commitment is exactly the kind of leadership we need to ensure our kids get the healthy lives they deserve," Mrs. Obama said.

"As we strive to make the healthy choice the easy choice, when it comes to physical activity BOKS and Reebok are bringing programs and inspiration to kids where they are: At school,” said PHA President and CEO Larry Soler.  

"As we look to fight America’s physical inactivity epidemic, we are proud to have Reebok and the BOKS program as partners in this effort."

Reebok is not the only fitness company that has pledged support and funds to Let's Move!: NIKE, Inc. has pledged $50 million over five years to Let's Move! Active Schools, and Mrs. Obama hopes to have 50,000 schools enrolled during that time frame.

CLICK HERE to read PHA's first-ever Let's Move! progress report on private sector commitments.

For more information on BOKS visit bokskids.org. For more information on PHA, visit ahealthieramerica.org.  The Let's Move! website is at LetsMove.gov.

*Photo by Sen. Bill Frist