The First Lady, Michelle Obama, will join the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the major charitable arm of Soccer in the United States at its free youth soccer clinic in Washington, DC on Friday, March 5, 2010 to highlight the Soccer Foundation's commitment to the national fight against childhood obesity and support for the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign that emphasizes the importance of children getting 60 minutes of active play each day.
During the event, the U.S. Soccer Foundation will announce a new and ambitious partnership with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health that brings together the U.S. Soccer Foundation's Passback Tour and the Alliance's ¡Vive tu Vida! Get Up! Get Moving!™ the nation's largest Hispanic family health lifestyle event series with over 15,000 participants annually.
The combined tour will provide children and their families in 25 U.S. cities with free health screenings and soccer clinics that emphasize the importance of physical activity, proper diet and healthy lifestyles and connect families with local soccer programs that will help children achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Participants of all ages will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of other activities including tennis and other sports clinics, family health walks, yoga, dance lessons, and learn about programs in their community to help families make physical activity a part of their daily lives.
All of the groups coming together -- the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Major League Soccer, Women's Professional Soccer, adidas, Eurosport, Univision and the popular children's television show LazyTown - recognize soccer as a powerful tool that should be leveraged to maximum effect in support of the First Lady's Let's Move campaign against childhood obesity.
Each organization has engaged the issue separately, but by working together can have a greater impact on improving child health and well-being -- particularly in communities where children experience the highest rates of childhood obesity. Soccer provides equal opportunity for girls and boys to engage in healthful physical activity and provides a natural bridge to emerging immigrant groups, connecting families to important information on diet, nutrition and ongoing soccer programs that will help them lead active, healthy lifestyles.
"The U.S. Soccer Foundation, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Major League Soccer, Women's Professional Soccer, adidas, Eurosport, Univision, and LazyTown entertainment all recognize the unique power of soccer as a tool in the national fight against childhood obesity, and are excited about collaborating with First Lady, Michelle Obama, on her Let's Move! initiative. By harnessing our collective and complementary strengths we will help her achieve the goal of bringing an end to childhood obesity in a generation," said Ed Foster-Simeon, President and CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
"We are honored that the First Lady has joined us for the launch of this unique partnership between the Passback program and ¡Vive tu Vida! Get Up! Get Moving! Last year over 400 local partners joined ¡Vive tu Vida! Get Up! Get Moving!™ to deliver fun and exciting ways for people of all ages and all sizes to make movement a daily part of their lives. We are committed to bringing the First Lady's Let's Move! effort to all communities to help raise a healthier generation of kids," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.
The soccer clinic, sponsored by adidas, will take place from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm at City Center (11th & H St. NW) under the same tent where the U.S. Soccer Foundation is holding its Leveling the Playing Field fundraising gala the night before. The soccer clinic will take place on a futsal surface provided by Sport Court®. The clinic will be run by Major League Soccer and D.C. United players.
The First Lady will be joined by a large group of notable guests supporting the effort: Dr. Jane Delgado (President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health & Board Member, U.S. Soccer Foundation), Don Garber (Commissioner, Major League Soccer & Board Member, U.S. Soccer Foundation), Sunil Gulati (President, US Soccer & Board Member, U.S. Soccer Foundation), Kevin Payne (President and CEO, D.C. United & Board Member, U.S. Soccer Foundation), Mark Washo (President & GM, Washington Freedom), Professional Players: D.C. United midfielder Christian Castillo, D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno, Eddie Pope, Claudio Reyna, Briana Scurry, D.C. United's Talon (Mascot), Washington Freedom's Glory (Mascot), and Sportacus (LazyTown Mascot).
Joint Passback and !Vive tu Vida! Get Up! Get Moving!™ Tour Details
This 25 city national tour includes: Albuquerque, NM; Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Brownsville, TX; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX: Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO, Los Angeles, CA; Las Vegas, NV: Miami, FL; Newark, NJ; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA: Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; San Francisco/Oakland, CA; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA; and, Washington, DC.
• Provides free family-focused health screenings testing for Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Dental for children and adults with referrals to community clinics and health providers if abnormal readings are found.
• Introduces children to soccer as a fun, physical activity with positive health benefits as well as other ways to make physical activity a part of daily family life.
• Provides information on the importance of proper nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
• Connects participants to the Urban Soccer Collaborative and other ongoing soccer programs as well as to other community resources for physical activity and health.
• Provides resources to help establish new programs.
Information (Spanish and English) on physical activity and health lifestyles is available by calling the Alliance's toll-free Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline (1-866-SU-FAMILIA or 1-866-783-2645) as well as referral to community health resources.
In addition to supporting the Passback Tour, Major League Soccer and Women's Professional Soccer will amplify the healthy lifestyles message through their website, publications and their own programs such as MLS's Active Bodies-Active Minds program. The U.S. Soccer Foundation has also taken additional steps to provide lasting and sustaining ways for children in these communities to remain physically active through its Soccer for Success initiative and the Urban Soccer Collaborative.
Soccer for Success
Soccer for Success provides free after-school soccer programs as a healthy positive alternative for low income, inner city boys and girls in grades K-8. The programs will serve at least 1,000 elementary and middle school children in each of the programs located in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC.
Urban Soccer Collaborative
This national network of grassroots programmers using soccer for youth development formed under the auspices of the U.S. Soccer Foundation and currently has 64 member organizations in 24 states plus the District of Columbia serving more than 32,000 children in underserved communities. The U.S. Soccer Foundation provides ongoing support for training, capacity building and implementation of quality standards, strategies and best practices for soccer-based youth development with an emphasis on improving health outcomes.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States. Established in 1994, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has invested more than $51 million, supporting hundreds of projects in every state. The U.S. Soccer Foundation supports programs and field building projects that provide low income and at-risk youth in urban communities with soccer programs that promote education, healthy lifestyles, leadership and positive alternatives to drugs, crime and other at-risk behaviors. For more information, or to donate online, please visit ussoccerfoundation.org/donate.
About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance)
The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the nation's foremost source of information and trusted advocate for the health of Hispanics. The Alliance represents thousands of Hispanic health providers across the nation providing services to more than 15 million each year, making a daily difference in the lives of Hispanic communities and families. ¡Vive tu vida! Get Up! Get Moving!™ is the premier national family physical activity and healthy lifestyle event series annually attracting over 15,000 participants. The family-oriented events are organized by leading Hispanic community-based organizations and are tailored to the interests and cultures of their community. The series is presented by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and the Health
Foundation for the Americas with its national sponsors: AstraZeneca, Univision Communication's Salud es vida ¡Entérate!, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA). For more information, visit www.hispanichealth.org or call toll-free 1-866-783-2645.