The Massachusetts Governorís Committee on Physical Fitness & Sports Presents Every Body Move Grant

The Massachusetts Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness & Sports Presents Every Body Move Grant to Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown

WATERTOWN, Mass. - June 8, 2006 - The Massachusetts Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness & Sports (MGCPFS) today presented the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown with an "Every Body Move" grant for the 2006-2007 academic year.

The grant, one of 26 awarded statewide, was presented by Soosie Lazenby, chair of the MGCPFS, and Committee member Rich Gotham, executive vice president for the Boston Celtics, at a ceremony held at the Perkins School. The event was emceed by Greg Dickerson, host of FSN New England's "Sports Tonight."


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The Committee awarded 26 physical activity grants of up to $7,500 totaling more than $187,000 to schools across the Commonwealth to coincide with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in May. The grants provide Massachusetts public schools with funding to create, enhance or sustain opportunities for physical activity for children ages 8 to 14. In its first year of the program the MGCPFS received more than 150 grant applications.

The Perkins School grant will support its overall physical education program, which includes adaptive instruction for its blind students and will introduce them to new activities such as snow shoeing, hiking and kayaking. At today's ceremony, Perkins students, joined by Boston Celtics forward Ryan Gomes, demonstrated the adaptive activities as part of a physical education class.

All grants were funded privately through monies raised at the MGCPFS's annual fundraiser, "Stars & Strikes." The second annual "Stars & Strikes" fundraiser will take place on June 22, 2006, at Kings Lanes in Boston.

"Every Body Move" grants support before-, during- and after-school physical activity initiatives, including traditional and non-traditional sports as well as physical education programming that encourages a more active lifestyle. The grants allow individual schools to shape their physical activity programs to specifically target and engage their student population by creating programs tailored to their students' interests.

This year's grant program will reach more than 12,000 students in 26 cities and towns throughout Massachusetts. The grants will fund 17 new and nine existing programs that include traditional sports such as basketball, softball, and cross-country as well as non-traditional physical activities including video dance, yoga, Tae Bo and Nordic walking. The grants are designed to support initiatives that promote children's regular involvement in fun physical activities -- thereby encouraging children to seek out physical activity, lead healthier lifestyles and improve their understanding about the lifelong benefits of exercise.

"The response we received to the 'Every Body Move' grant program was tremendous," said Lazenby. "We are thrilled to be able to support programs such as the Guilmette School's that will positively impact children throughout the Commonwealth. At the same time, we are striving to generate even more funding at our upcoming fundraiser, Stars & Strikes, in hopes to support each and every grant applicant next year."

"Regular physical activity is critical to every child's development," said Governor Mitt Romney. "Finding new and fun ways for children to become physically active is an important part of building habits that will last a lifetime."

"These grants mark a big turning point in the 'Every Body Move' campaign," said Senate President Robert E. Travaglini. "This support makes the concept of offering our children exciting physical activities a reality in schools across the Commonwealth. And it's just the beginning of many more programs to come."

"Exercise should be part of every child's daily routine," said Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi. "These grants will help thousands of students across the Commonwealth get active and stay healthy."

For more information visit www.masportsandfitness.org or the MGCPFS's companion website at www.everybodymove.org which contains information and resources on the benefits of exercise, recommended activities, and existing sports, health and fitness programs available in Massachusetts.

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