CLEVELAND, July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Nestlé in the United States kicked off their National Fitness Challenge today at Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, Ohio. As part of their three-year national partnership, BGCA and Nestlé are challenging Clubs around the country to inspire local kids to achieve tangible short-term fitness goals. As the nation's No. 1 advocate for youth, BGCA has set bold goals to enable more kids to achieve a great future, including logging 4 billion hours of physical activity from Club kids and teens by 2018.
The event held today features Paralympic athlete and Boys & Girls Club alum Blake Leeper, who helped jump-start the competition with 200 kids from Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland. Blake, who hopes to be the first American to compete in both the Paralympic and Olympic Summer Games in 2016, shared his experience with fitness and how Boys & Girls Clubs helped him develop his athletic skills.
"I'm so excited to be here today to kick off Boys & Girls Clubs of America's National Fitness Challenge," said Blake Leeper. "Fitness and health have always been an important part of my life, and I'm very passionate about educating and getting kids motivated to be fit. Thanks to Nestlé, Club kids around the country are going to get a chance to participate in the National Fitness Challenge each spring and fall."
Through Nestlé's support, the National Fitness Challenge will enable Clubs to host fitness competitions for kid and teen members, to encourage a competitive spirit and challenge members to achieve tangible fitness goals.
"We are excited to launch our National Fitness Competition with the Boys & Girls Clubs today," said Paul Grimwood, chief executive officer of Nestlé USA. "Childhood obesity is a growing problem, and we are working hard to help reverse the trend with programs that promote physical activity and nutrition education. We're thrilled to partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs in this journey."
The National Fitness Competition kicks off with Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, but will expand to more than 100 Clubs this fall. Clubs will host their local competitions each fall and spring with activities that are broken out by gender, age group and various levels of competition. By the program's third year, the National Fitness Competition is expected to reach 500 Clubs, engaging a total of 50,000 young people.
"Creating a culture of health and wellness is critical as we work to enable our Clubs' kids and teens to have a great future. With more than 3 out of 10 kids today considered obese or overweight, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is laser focused on providing a variety of health and fitness programs that change this equation for the next generation," said Jim Clark, president & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "Thanks to partners like Nestlé, we're helping kids learn about fitness, being physically active and how this can increase their self-confidence and ability to achieve their goals."
A longtime supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs locally, Nestlé and BGCA announced a three-year national partnership in April 2015. In addition to the expanded partnership, Nestlé also provides local volunteer support to Clubs around the country. The program complements much of Nestlé's work in nutrition education at the community level, including a partnership with the National Education Association Healthy Futures to provide nutrition curriculum to K-6 educators and the students they serve.
About Nestlé in the United States
Nestlé in the United States is committed to being a trusted leader in nutrition, health and wellness. Our diverse portfolio of food and beverage products provide nutritious options for every member of the family, including infants, toddlers, teens and adults, mature adults, and dogs and cats. Nestlé in the U.S. consists of seven main businesses: Nestlé USA, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, Nestlé Waters North America, Nestlé Nutrition, Nestlé Professional, Nespresso and Nestlé Health Science. Together, these companies operate in more than 120 locations in 47 states and employ over 51,000 people. The United States is Nestlé S.A.'s largest market with combined product sales in the United States totaling more than $26 billion in 2014.
At Nestlé, we believe that for our business to prosper in the long term, we must create value for our employees, customers, stakeholders, consumers and the communities where we live and work. Nestlé embeds Creating Shared Value (CSV) into every part of its business, from nutrition and wellness to environmental sustainability and responsible sourcing. For more information, visit: http://www.nestleusa.com/creating-shared-value.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 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, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives.
SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America