Clippers Helps Kids Stay Fit
11/16/11 | Ben Kaplan
The Los Angeles Clippers and The California Endowment have partnered to launch the inaugural Clippers FIT Campus Program at six different schools throughout Los Angeles from Nov. 14 - Nov. 18. The program is designed to enhance the quality of life for students by reinforcing the importance of a healthy lifestyle through exercise and nutrition.
After kicking off the program on Monday, Nov. 14 at John Adams Middle School in Los Angeles, the Clippers FIT Campus Program made an appearance at the James A. Foshay Learning Center on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
"Being fit is about choices," former Clippers forward Sean Rooks told the assembled students. "Everything starts with making the right choices and that starts with fitness. The right choices about health and fitness will help you out in the classroom and it will help you to be disciplined throughout your lives. It's not just about being in shape to run up and down a court but it's about having respect for yourself and being able to live a long and healthy life."
A California Distinguished school (K-12) in the heart of Los Angeles, the children from James A. Foshay Learning Center were treated to a rally featuring Mike Rylander, the Clippers new in-arena game host and DJ Dense behind the turntables. The event included performances by the Clipper Spirit along with the Fast Break Crew and Fan Patrol. Immediately following the performances, Rylander opened the stage to the kids for a dance-off to win Clippers gear.
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Following the fitness rally, approximately 200 students participated in four exercise stations. The Clippers Spirit ran a dance station teaching the kids an exciting dance routine and Rooks headlined a basketball station where students went through a series of layup and shooting lines. The Clippers Fan Patrol orchestrated the Exercise games station which included an entertaining Jump Rope routine and Clippers Head Athletic Trainer Jasen Powell and Clippers Strength and Conditioning Coach Richard Williams managed the FITNESSGRAM prep station where the kids did push-ups, sit-ups and some light running drills.
"This is really fun. Everything starts with our youth," Williams said. "It is always a privilege to come to these schools and see what physical activities they are doing and find ways to provide new and exciting things for them to do and to have fun with physical fitness."
Clippers Senior Director of Sponsorship Sales Chris Beyer was instrumental in developing a partnership with The California Endowment.
"These events are about educating these kids about the true value of living a healthy lifestyle and being active," Beyer said. "The Clippers and The California Endowment are both committed to inspiring the children of Los Angeles to be fit."
James A. Foshay Learning Center Administrator Regina Boutte was elated with the success of the event.
"These kids are excited, they have never experienced anything like this,: Boutte said. "They are dancing with the Clippers Spirit and working out with the Clippers Staff and many of these kids are going to go home and do the same thing."
Boutte and the Foshay Learning Center have been working closely with the Clippers for years, calling the relationship a true partnership, as the school has also participated in the Clippers Read to Achieve program.
"With the enthusiasm we have noticed with the Read to Achieve program, it was a given that this Clippers FIT Campus Program was going to be just as spectacular," Botte said.
James A. Foshay Learning Center cheerleaders Raeven Colmore and Kristin Holloway were ecstatic with the opportunity to learn some moves from the Clippers Spirit, and students Chris Miller and Jahmal Taylor were equally excited to participate in the Clippers FIT Campus Program.
"Yes!" they both responded. "This is really cool."
The Clippers FIT Campus Program continues on Wednesday, Nov. 16 with two events, one at John Muir Middle School and another Bethune Middle School in Los Angeles. The Program will be at the 42nd Street Elementary School in Los Angeles on Nov. 17 and then concludes on Nov. 18 at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles.
The California Endowment is a private statewide health foundation established in 1996 to expand affordable, quality healthcare and to promote fundamental improvements for a healthy lifestyle to all Californians. Clippers FIT is a part of the NBA's health and wellness initiative, promoting healthy and active lifestyles for children and families.