ATLANTA, June 29, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia joined Boys & Girls Clubs of America to lead a series of wellness activities for more than 200 youth at Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center in New York City yesterday, June 28, 2018. The event, Triple Play Day, kicked off a series of events taking place at Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation to elevate the importance of youth development during out-of-school time in addressing health outcomes in America.
Despite a consistent upward trend for life expectancy during the past thousand years, today's rates of chronic disease and health crises, like opioid addiction, put the U.S. in a position to face a potential decline in life expectancy. A variety of factors contribute to a person's overall health and risk for health concerns. Research shows that certain factors, like socio-economic status and environmental factors or social determinants of health (where you live, work, learn, play) can have a profound impact – especially on adolescents who are particularly sensitive to negative social and environmental conditions. Young people growing up in communities facing higher rates of negative factors, like safety concerns and trauma, and greater social and economic barriers, are most at-risk.
Through the Triple Play program, Boys & Girls Clubs of America seeks to level the playing field to enable all youth to reach their full potential as healthy, productive adults. Triple Play is designed to deliver health promotion and programming to help youth create opportunities to take charge of their personal health and wellness. Through a 'whole child' approach, the program teaches the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition, and enables youth to build the social and emotional skills needed to overcome environmental factors that can negatively impact health and wellness.
Sponsored by Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc., and The Coca-Cola Company, the program ensures youth have opportunities to practice these skillsets within a safe and supportive environment, which enables them to transfer and apply them in their home, school and community settings.
"I'm lucky to have been surrounded by a supportive community and ample resources that allowed me to form a healthy lifestyle at a young age at my Boys & Girls Club. As an alum, I'm excited to team up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to inspire the next generation of kids to prioritize health and wellness in their lives," said CC Sabathia.
During Triple Play Day, CC Sabathia brought the program to life with fun and engaging activities based on its three primary pillars: Healthy Habits (Mind), Daily Challenges (Body), and Social Recreation (Soul). Activities included:
- Super Snacks Kids Cooking Challenge: Youth were given supplies and ingredients with the challenge of creating an "After-school Snack." Teams were responsible for preparing, "plating" and presenting their after-school snack.
- Super Fitness Superhero Challenge: Each child created a superhero persona and then completed an obstacle course utilizing his or her powers.
- Super Quest "Crack the Case" Challenge: Youth were given a case they had to work together to solve. As they solved various components of the case, they were given additional clues to ultimately crack the case.
During the event, CC Sabathia was also honored with the Anthem Health Champion award, which serves to raise awareness about critical health issues and recognize individuals who are making a significant difference as role models, leading a healthy, active lifestyle and inspiring others to do the same.
"At Anthem we are committed to creating a better healthcare experience for all including the communities where we live and work," said Peter Haytaian, executive vice president and president, commercial and specialty business at Anthem. "The Foundation's collaboration with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and support of their Triple Play program is one more example of how we are working together to help provide greater access to programs and resources that teach youth across the country the benefits of physical activity and how it can lead to a healthier lifestyle."
"At The Coca-Cola Company, we believe that our business can only be as strong as the communities we serve, and that is why we have proudly supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for the past 72 years", said Erika Von Heiland Strader, Director Community Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. "Boys & Girls Clubs of America is one of this country's most important youth-serving agencies, helping strengthen local communities by providing support and role models for young men and women through more than 4,000 Clubs across the country."
Through Boys & Girls Clubs of America's National Youth Outcomes Initiative, which measures Club and program impact using a common set of research-informed indicators, research shows that Boys & Girls Clubs offering the Triple Play program have seen significant improvements in the health-related habits of its Club members.
"Triple Play has a proven track record of helping kids improve their health and wellbeing by making positive decisions – from abstaining from alcohol and drug use to becoming more physically active," said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "Through Triple Play Day and events nationwide, we're continuing our commitment to building a healthier generation. With CC Sabathia by our side, and the commitment of partners like Anthem Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company, our Club members will be inspired by their own potential to do great things."
For more information on the Triple Play program, go to www.bgca.org/tripleplay.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (bgca.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, 4,400 Clubs serve four million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in Boys & Girls Clubs of America-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America