CLIPPERS TEAM UP TO FORM ACTIVE ALLIANCE

The Clippers and Kings may have been opponents on Nov. 23 at Staples Center, but prior to the game both organizations were a part of something that extends beyond the world of basketball.

In partnership with The California Endowment and Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps, the Clippers and Kings along with the Lakers and Warriors, launched Active Alliance. The new health partnership aims to measurably improving the health of children in their respective communities through exercise, nutrition and education.

“The Active Alliance will serve as a positive force in the campaign to encourage Californians to adopt more healthy and active lifestyles,” said Michelle Bouchard, President of HealthCorps. “When it comes to the welfare of our children, we all need to be on the same team and we are thrilled to be working with The California Endowment and the Lakers, Kings, Clippers and Warriors.”

Bouchard along with Clippers President Andy Roeser, Kings President Chris Granger, Kings President of Business Operations Matina Kolokotronis, former Clippers forward Lamond Murray and CEO of The California Endowment Dr. Robert K. Ross helped kick off the partnership as part of Saturday’s media conference.

“Schools play a key role in the health of our children, and healthy kids are more likely to succeed in school and life,” said Kathlyn Mead, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The California Endowment. “The Active Alliance is an innovative initiative that connects role models like professional athletes to inspire and make health happen for our children and their communities.”

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HealthCorps was founded by Dr. Oz and his wife, Lisa. HealthCorps “Coordinators” carry out unique in-school and community programming targeting high-need populations. Using peer-mentoring to deliver a progressive curriculum in nutrition, fitness and mental strength, HealthCorps Coordinators give teens purpose, help develop human character, and inspire an interest in health and culinary arts careers.

The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians.

Together with the NBA teams the organizations form Active Alliance, which was designed as a model for other states across country. “Four teams down, 26 to go,” Ross said with a smile as the news conference was wrapping up.

The objective of partnering with the NBA is to maximize the positive influence of professional athletes on youngsters, particularly those in disadvantaged communities. South Los Angeles, Richmond, Oakland and Sacramento were some of the areas mentioned by Ross that suffer from high crime rates, poor nutritional health and an uptick in poverty levels.

“Together, we’re going to work to improve playgrounds and places for kids to play in local neighborhoods and we’ll share what we’ve learned with schools and organizations across the state,” Oz said. “So, every kid in California can be healthy and active.”