DALLAS, May 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Online Physical Education Network ("OPEN"), the nation's largest public-service organization serving physical educators, coaches and activity leaders, today announced that it has launched a virtual National Field Day scheduled for Friday, May 8th, to assist schools and districts across the country that have had to cancel traditional field day events due to coronavirus-related school closures. Students all over the country and around the world will use the activity resources provided by the OPEN team to turn their homes into field day arenas.
Created and funded by US Games and BSN SPORTS – the sporting goods apparel and equipment division of Varsity Brands – OPEN was launched in 2015 on the premise that every child deserves an effective physical education. In pursuit of this goal, OPEN provides its free educational resources and downloadable resources to school districts throughout the country. OPEN currently serves 100,000 registered users worldwide.
Millions of students representing over 13,000 schools have already registered to join the fun of OPEN's Virtual Field Day Event. Hip Hop Public Health ("HHPH") the national nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering positive health behavior change through the power of hip hop music, has lined up Doug E. Fresh to serve as the opening ceremony guest. HHPH is also providing the music soundtrack for opening ceremonies, which will also feature several additional guests - 4-time Olympian Chaunte Lowe on behalf of the Look for the Good Project, Varsity Brands Ambassador Kevin Atlas, as well as a team of NFL mascots. Opening ceremonies are set to air on the OPEN website on Thursday evening, May 7th, at 7:30 PM Eastern Time.
Aaron Hart, Executive Director of OPEN, stated, "Field Days hold a special place in the annual school calendars, and represents a chance for students and teachers to take pride in the success of their fitness and physical education curriculum. Students and teachers are understandably disappointed that their traditional Field Day event has been put on hold, which is why the OPEN National Trainers are excited to partner with a team of great organizations and bring some excitement and positivity into the lives of students, families, and teachers through our Virtual Field Day event. We look forward to bringing thousands of schools together to affirm that – despite the dislocation caused by COVID-19 – we can still engage in shared physical activities that lead to more productive, healthier, and happier lives."
Each National Field Day event will include a "task card" with an explanation and a link to a brief video from an OPEN National Trainer demonstrating how the activity should be completed. The events will utilize items that students can readily find available around the home. Social and emotional learning concepts such as spirit of the game, sportsmanship, and etiquette will also be emphasized. The event will be promoted on social media using #NationalFieldDay so participants can follow along across the United States.
Kurt Stone, Division Manager, US Games, added, "We believe in the fundamental importance of physical education in the lives of young people, and are committed to working with educators so they possess the tools they need to be effective in their classrooms. Our work with OPEN to provide this opportunity across the country is a labor of love for all of us, and I am immensely proud of how our team has enthusiastically supported schools and students during the pandemic."
OPEN's Virtual Field Day event builds on related efforts from BSN SPORTS that allow coaches and athletic directors across the country to remain connected to and engaged with their teams during the coronavirus outbreak and resulting school closures. These efforts include, among others, coaches' digital cards, virtual coaching clinics and product webinars, and Varsity Brands' ® Believe in You video series. To learn more about these efforts, please click here.
Learn more about OPEN and its mission to improve the effectiveness of physical education for every child by visiting www.OPENPhysEd.org. Registration for the National Field Day Event can be accessed at: https://openphysed.org/nationalfieldday.
About US Games
US Games is the nation's leading supplier of physical education equipment and curriculum. A part of BSN Sports and Varsity Brands, US Games offers a full line of the equipment educators need, and is the sole sponsor of OPEN, the free physical education curriculum created by teachers, for teachers. For more information on US Games, visit www.usgames.com.
About BSN SPORTS
Dallas-based BSN SPORTS is the leading marketer, manufacturer, and distributor of sporting goods apparel and equipment. A division of Varsity Brands, BSN SPORTS markets and distributes its products to over 100,000 institutional and team sports customers in colleges and universities, middle and high schools, and recreational programs throughout the United States via catalog, e-commerce, and direct sales. Focused on providing game-changing solutions through local partnerships, multi-brand selection, and one-stop shopping for equipment and uniforms, BSN SPORTS' more than 3,000 employees have been helping elevate participation in team sports since 1972. For more information about BSN SPORTS, please visit www.bsnsports.com.
About Varsity Brands
With a mission to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for young people, Varsity Brands elevates the student experience, promotes participation, and celebrates achievement through three unique but interrelated businesses: Herff Jones, a Varsity Achievement Brand; BSN SPORTS, a Varsity Sport Brand; and Varsity Spirit. Together, these assets promote personal, school, and community pride through their customizable products and programs to elementary and middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities, as well as church organizations, professional and collegiate sports teams, and corporations. Through its 8,200 dedicated employees and independent representatives, Varsity Brands reaches its individual and institutional customers each year via catalog, telesales, ecommerce sites, and direct sales channels.
Perry Street Communications