By The Truth on Health Team
Paul Pierce and The Boston Foundation Challenge Thousands of Local Youth to Log 1 Million Hours of Fitness in 2012 as part of “Million Hour Challenge”
Paul Pierce’s Truth on Health Campaign and The Boston Foundation’s CHAMPS Boston initiative kick-off Year-long challenge with fun-filled day of exercise, games & health education at Kroc Center Boston.
One million hours of jumping, running, playing, dancing and MOVING in 2012! That’s what Paul Pierce asked hundreds of youth to take on at a kick-off rally today for the Million Hour Challenge, created by the all-star’s Truth on Health Campaign and The Boston Foundation’s CHAMPS (Coaches Helping Athletes through Mentoring and Positive Sports) Boston Initiative.
The kids spent the morning at Kroc Center Boston immersed in fun and age-appropriate strength, endurance and flexibility exercises, including: crab soccer, “Watch Your Back” tag, an Iron Lung Relay, stretching and yoga. Activities were led by local fitness experts from Playworks, a national nonprofit that works with public schools to create play for children. The attendees were also treated to a hip-hop dance routine performed by Boston Celtics Junior Dance Team Lil’ Phunk and a Double Dutch jump rope demonstration featuring the Beantown Jumpers.
The event participants, young athletes from Pierce’s FitClub34, Boston Public Schools and the CHAMPS initiative, received Paul Pierce Activity Watches powered by Switch2Health to record their physical activity during the event and throughout the challenge year. The innovative device tracks physical activity and motivates kids to be active through rewards and incentives.
“I’m excited that The Boston Foundation CHAMPS initiative has joined Truth on Health in our ongoing mission to fight childhood obesity and motivate kids to make healthy choices,” said Pierce. "The more kids we can reach and inspire to get active, the faster we'll achieve our goal of logging a million hours, so come on kids, come check out my website at Truthonhealth.org and see how you can join the movement."
"Our goal is to get as many kids in Boston engaged in the Million Hour Challenge as possible, get them on the right track by giving them the tools and resources they need to get fit, and then using this as a model for a national movement that we can roll out across the country," he continued. “So I'm challenging all the kids in Boston to join us and show the country how its done, and help set an example for the country and help make a difference in the lives of our nation’s youth."
Pierce started the Truth on Health Campaign to motivate and educate kids on how to incorporate physical fitness and healthy eating into their everyday lives. Its signature component, FitClub34, is a rewards-based “fit” club that provides children with the information, resources, and tools necessary to become more active and physically fit. This fall, the campaign joined forces with The Boston Foundation CHAMPS Boston Initiative to encourage more Boston youth to exercise and eat healthy.
The Massachusetts Million Hour Challenge will promote health and fitness by engaging youth in a statewide effort to complete one million collective hours of physical activity. The goal is to inform communities across Massachusetts including youth, families, service providers and educators about the growing problem of childhood obesity, while uniting youth around a common goal to instill healthy habits for a lifetime.
“CHAMPS is about providing quality activities that set a tone for kids to develop a lifelong commitment to an active, healthy lifestyle,” said Paul Grogan, President of the Boston Foundation. “We’re thrilled to partner with a star athlete like Paul Pierce and his Truth on Health Campaign to offer this unique challenge. We think the innovative Paul Pierce Activity Watches will really help motivate kids and encourage healthy activity by allowing them to ‘keep score’ on their efforts. And we hope the habits they embrace this year will last a lifetime, teaching them that being active every day is both fun and beneficial.”
More than 2,000 kids statewide – all members of the CHAMPS Boston certified coach’s network or other Truth on Health partner organizations – will join FitClub34 and receive a Paul Pierce Activity Watch to record their exercise. Each member will commit to a goal of engaging in 60 minutes of activity per day, five days per week. The Truth on Health and CHAMPS Boston will offer grants and capacity-building assistance for organizations whose kids log the most activity hours.
Pierce created FitClub34 to serve as a template program for professional athletes to embrace and roll out in their hometown cities across the country. For more information, visit www.truthonhealth.org or www.champsboston.org.
About the Boston Foundation’s CHAMPS Boston Initiative
CHAMPS – Coaches Helping Athletes through Mentoring and Positive Sports— is a sports-based youth development initiative of the Boston Foundation. Its mission is to ensure that every child in the city of Boston has access to high quality athletic opportunities — beyond school hours — including equipment and safe and clean fields, and that all youth coaches are of the highest quality and understand the fundamentals of youth development through sports.