May 5, 2004  


PE4LIFE Gives Granger Legislator of the Year Award


NFL legend Herschel Walker and tennis star Billie Jean King presented Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) with PE4LIFE’s "Legislator of the Year" award for her unbending commitment to battle juvenile obesity.

PE4LIFE is a national non-profit organization that is dedicated to quality, daily physical education programs in all U.S. schools.

To celebrate National PE Day, which is today, PE4LIFE held a press conference with "All-Star" guests on the Cannon House Office Building Terrace in Washington to promote physical activity and successful programs. Herschel Walker and Billie Jean King spoke about the importance of physical education and its impact on their lives.

Other sports figures in attendance included: Stacey Nuveman, 2000 Olympic Gold Medal Women’s Softball Team; Jennifer Azzi, 1990 Olympic Gold Medal Women’s Basketball Team and WNBA player; Chris Byrd, IBF Heavyweight Champion; and Clinton Portis of the Washington Redskins.

Granger, Representative Strickland (D-OH), and Representative Peterson (R-PA) made opening remarks at the press conference.

Granger commended the athletic stars for using their influence to encourage young people to get moving, but she also expressed her appreciation for the unsung heroes in this cause.

"I also want to thank the non-celebrities for all their help. These are the people like your favorite high school soccer coach or the PE teacher who encouraged you to get your Presidential Medal of Fitness," said Granger.

"These are the people who are literally shaping our nation and making up a fitter, trimmer nation."

Granger has been dedicated to curbing the national epidemic of obesity through legislation and involvement in her community. She is one of the lead sponsors of a bill known as the IMPACT Act that would encourage better diets and more physical activity by training health care professionals to recognize and treat obesity in early stages. The bill provides ways to address obesity both in and out of schools.

Under IMPACT, increased funding for obesity prevention programs and school-based health programs would reinforce the ultimate goal of obesity reduction and healthier lifestyles.

"The fact is that obesity is a preventable problem," said Granger. "Obesity kills 300,000 Americans every year, because we don’t eat right and we don’t exercise."

In addition to the IMPACT Act, the Congresswoman issued the Cowtown Kay Granger Fitness Challenge for Fort Worth young people. The Challenge was commissioned in September 2003 when youth began training for Cowtown running race events in February 2004. To qualify for the Cowtown Kay Granger Fitness Challenge, youth were required to develop a training routine and to maintain a fitness log.

Granger issued the challenge to encourage young people to increase physical activity and better eating habits rather than engage in unhealthy lifestyles that can lead to obesity.

More than 200 youth accepted the challenge.

If you need more information, please contact Communications Director Pat Svacina at (817) 338-0909 or Assistant Communications Director Rachel Carter at (202) 225-5071.