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March 3, 2010 -- With recent reports ranking Illinois with the fourth highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation, the Chicago Bulls are committed to helping local students make healthier lifestyle decisions and address the national childhood obesity epidemic.
At a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon, the Bulls officially unveiled the first EnergizaBulls Fitness Center. The new fitness center is located at the Morton School of Excellence, a YMCA Community School, on the city’s west side.
On hand for the event were the Bulls’ Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, James Johnson, Jannero Pargo, Bob Love and Sidney Green along with Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Richard H. Malone as well as Personal Trainer and Owner of Execufit Corporate Wellness Sergio Rojas.
In 2009, the Bulls charity organization CharitaBulls was awarded approximately $1.475 million from the U.S. Department of Education to help enhance physical education programs within Chicago Public Schools.
With the grant money and additional support from local companies such as Direct Fitness Solutions and Motion Fitness, the Bulls will be creating 15 EnergizaBulls Fitness Centers in Chicago Public Schools by the 2011-12 school year.
The EnergizaBulls Fitness Centers are permanent, sustainable wellness health centers located within the schools building. The goal of the fitness centers is to help children develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to adopt and maintain a physically active and healthy lifestyle. Each fitness center will have Bulls colors, photos and branding throughout the rooms.
To celebrate the opening, Mayor Daley, Ron Huberman, and the players helped students in the Morton after-school program utilize their new fitness equipment including elliptical machines, Nintendo Wii’s, stationary bicycles and other top-of-the-line exercise equipment.
Through the Bulls collaboration with the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, the YMCA will develop programs that get children moving in a fun and interactive way. Additionally, the YMCA will track student’s daily activity, monitor their progress and help them reach the recommended level of activity.
Five other Chicago Public Schools chosen to receive the fitness centers this year include Ryerson Community School, Lawrence Elementary School, Oglesby Elementary School, Orozco Community Academy and Whistler Elementary School.
Since 2007, the Bulls have been doing their part to help combat childhood obesity in Chicago’s youth through HOPSports an innovative program that promotes healthy nutritional habits and fitness exercises via a unique interactive multi-media platform.
In 2009, the Bulls charity organization CharitaBulls applied and was chosen as one of the recipients of the Carol M. White Physical Education Program grants. These grants provide 73 public schools and community-based organizations in 25 states with funds to initiate, expand and improve physical education programs for students in grades K-12.
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