Soccer Legend Brandi Chastain Joins 300 Chicago Elementary Students for Balanced for Life Chicago SCORES Soccer Jamboree!

Elementary Students From Six Schools Play Back-to-Back Soccer Matches

in the Morning, Perform Poetry Readings in the Afternoon in

Celebration Sponsored by the Nation's Vending Industry

Jun 04, 2005, 01:00 ET from NAMA

    CHICAGO, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Women's World Cup Soccer Champion Brandi
 Chastain today joined hundreds of urban-area elementary school children from
 six Chicago public schools at Douglas Park for the Balanced for Life Chicago
 SCORES Jamboree! and Shout, Chicago SCORES Program Director Heather Walles
 announced today.  Sponsored by Balanced for Life, an initiative of the
 nation's vending industry to help address skyrocketing childhood obesity
 rates, the Jamboree! and Shout is a soccer and poetry festival including
 round-robin style tournament games, arts and crafts, and fun activities for
 the entire community.
     In opening the Jamboree Walles said, "We're all very proud of the work our
 students have done over the past year and are excited to watch them showcase
 their poetry and soccer skills today.  We are also thrilled to have soccer
 superstar Brandi Chastain and the support of the nation's vending industry
 through their Balanced for Life initiative that helped fund the events we're
 enjoying today."
     Chastain was on the 2004 Olympic Team that took the Gold medal in Athens
 and scored the winning goal during the final game of the 1999 Women's World
 Cup Championship.  She was also a member of the gold-medal winning U.S.
 Women's National Team at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.  At the event
 Chastain said, "It's great to see all of you out here today because being
 physically active is an important part of staying healthy.  And by playing
 soccer you can have fun with your friends at the same time."
     After Chastain spoke to the students, Colin Walsh of Coin Cafe presented
 to the organization on behalf of the nation's vending industry a $10,000 check
 saying, "Chicago SCORES is a great program because it helps get kids active,
 which we think is critical to the health of our nation's youth.  On behalf of
 the Balanced for Life program we present this check to Chicago SCORES and look
 forward to working with you on other programs that help protect the health of
 our nation's youth."
     In the US, over 65% of urban, city, school children do not participate in
 extracurricular activities that involve any form of exercise and 32% are
 overweight or obese.  The Chicago SCORES after-school program engages children
 from across the area in at least 90 minutes of soccer three times a week
 ensuring that student-athletes learn to be physically active and involved in a
 team activity at an early age.  Balanced for Life Chicago SCORES Jamboree! is
 the culminating event of the spring Chicago SCORES season where students get
 to show the community how much their soccer and poetry skills have improved
 over the season.
     Every day, Chicago SCORES works with 300 children in six urban, public,
 elementary schools.  Using a unique combination of soccer, poetry and
 community service projects, Chicago SCORES utilizes a whole child approach to
 youth development for students who are at-risk of academic failure.
     Concluded Walles, "On behalf of everyone associated with Chicago SCORES,
 most especially the hundreds of school children who were the stars of the day,
 we thank all of our program partners who made this event possible."
     About Chicago SCORES
     Chicago SCORES, an affiliate of America SCORES, is an innovative after-
 school program that uses soccer, literacy and community service to build
 healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy communities among at-risk kids in
 Chicago Public Schools.  A dedicated team of public school teachers works with
 8 - 12 year olds on basic skills including literacy and physical fitness, as
 well as character development areas such as leadership and team work.  The
 result is happier, healthier and stronger kids and communities.
     About Balanced for Life
     Balanced for Life is a program created by the National Automatic
 Merchandising Association's non-profit foundation designed to teach our
 nation's youth the importance of a balanced diet and physical activity.  For
 more information visit