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Keep Gym in School


FS Michael Huff, Comcast SportsNet's Kate Longworth, Comcast's Regional Vice President of Government Affairs Johnnie Giles, T Khalif Barnes, Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask, CB Joe Porter, S Stevie Brown, Principal Cliff Hong, LB Sam Williams, CB Nnamdi Asomugha, CB Walter McFadden and RB Rock Cartwright pose for a photo. Photo by Tony Gonzales.

NFL Network teamed up with The Oakland Raiders, California Superintendent Jack O'Connell, Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, Councilwoman Pat Kernighan, PTA President Alice Newscombe and Comcast to officially inaugurate the refurbished Physical Education facilities at Roosevelt Middle School in Oakland made possible by the *Keep Gym in School *program.

The more than 670 Roosevelt Middle School students, faculty and staff participated in an energetic pep rally emceed by NFL Network's Scott Hanson and Comcast SportsNet's Kate Longworth. Roosevelt Middle School's principal, Cliff Hong, spoke to the students, followed by Skyline High School Marching Band's rendition of the National Anthem. The Skyline cheerleaders performed and the band played again for the audience. Before Oakland Raider cornerback and National Spokesperson for the 2010‐2011 *Keep Gym in School *initiative, Nnamdi Asomugha, spoke, the Raiderettes performed and taught some of the students a routine.

O'Connell, Swanson, and Comcast's Regional Vice President of Government Affairs Johnnie Giles spoke to the students as well.

Asomugha spoke to the students about the importance of fitness. "We're trying to promote healthy living and active lifestyle for the youth," said Asomugha. As National Spokesperson for Keep Gym in School, Asomugha has been speaking out through Public Service Announcements and at special events at schools about the importance of physical activity to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Following Asomugha's talk with the students, many of his teammates joined him in the gym. "They were great, it was a big surprise," said Asomugha. "The kids didn't know that they were going to be coming in, when I announced them the whole gym started going crazy."

Asomugha and his teammates, T Khalif Barnes, CB Walter McFadden, S Michael Huff, LB Sam Williams, DB Joe Porter, RB Rock Cartwright, and S Stevie Brown led students through fitness tests and football inspired drills during an on‐field minicamp. The students thoroughly enjoyed their time with the Raiders and the other special guests at the Keep Gym in School event.

The reveal of the new physical education facilities at Roosevelt Middle School is the fifth and final unveiling and pep rally made possible by NFL Network's *Keep Gym in School *program this year.

As part of the league's NFL PLAY 60 youth health and fitness campaign, *Keep Gym in School *is NFL Network's comprehensive national program to boost fitness and physical education in America's middle schools.

"I am honored to support NFL Network's Keep Gym in School Program because I believe that physical education is an essential component of a complete education," said Nnamdi Asomugha. "PE courses educate children on the benefits of an active lifestyle and the importance of team work and perseverance; skills which have contributed greatly to my own personal career and life successes."

The $25,000 grant from NFL Network's *Keep Gym in School *initiative funded major improvements to Roosevelt Middle School's physical education facilities including the conversion of a storage room into a fitness/dance space. In addition, the school used the funding to purchase 20 cardio bikes and equipment including jump ropes, cones, basketballs and footballs. Last, the grant allowed the school to provide a Fitness for Life curriculum for the teachers.

Students from Roosevelt Middle School will also participate in the *Keep Gym in School *NFL Play 60 Challenge, an in‐school fitness program (with assessments) developed in conjunction with the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) to measure students' fitness levels and encourage them to stay active throughout the year. One motivated student who shows the most fitness improvement over the next six months will earn a trip to New York City to attend the *Keep Gym in School *National Honors event during the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft.

Thirty-two percent of American children and adolescents are overweight or obese, nationwide childhood obesity has more than TRIPLED since 1980 and only 35 percent of students are physically active for 60 minutes at least 5 days per week. And many schools are cutting back on PE programs due to of lack of resources at the same time that childhood obesity rates are climbing. Over the past two years, *Keep Gym in School *has increased and improved physical education for more than 348,000 students in 24 districts. And, custom lesson plans have been provided to PE teachers at 196 schools, Fitness Challenges have been implemented at 417 schools and best‐in‐class professional development has been provided to close to 200 teachers.

For the first time, this year's *Keep Gym in School *campaign will be honoring an "NFL Network PE Teacher of the Year." The public can nominate PE teachers online at between September 1‐January 31 and the winning NFL Network "PE Teacher of the Year" will be announced at an event in New York City during 2011 NFL Draft Week. That teacher will receive a $10,000 award in addition to a $10,000 grant for his/her school's PE program.

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