NFL Network Announces Raiders’ Nnamdi Asomugha as National Spokesperson for Keep Gym in School Campaign

NFL Network Announces Raiders’ Nnamdi Asomugha as National Spokesperson for Keep Gym in School Campaign and New “PE Teacher of the Year” Award. Comcast Joins as Exclusive Partner for 2010.

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Comcast is proud to partner with NFL Network on its Keep Gym in School campaign to help raise awareness about the importance of quality physical education programs in schools

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 20, 2010

In response to the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S., NFL Network announced today that it has enlisted Oakland Raiders’ cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, as the first national spokesperson for the 2010 Keep Gym in School (KGIS) initiative and is also adding a new component to the campaign -- a NFL Network “PE Teacher of the Year” award.

As part of the league’s NFL PLAY 60 youth health and fitness campaign, Keep Gym in School is NFL Network’s comprehensive national program to boost fitness and physical education in America’s middle schools. In the first two years of the program, Keep Gym in School has awarded nearly $600,000 in grants to 45 schools which has increased and improved physical education for more than 348,000 students in 24 districts. Additionally, custom lesson plans have been provided to PE teachers at 196 schools, Fitness Challenges, created in partnership with NASPE (National Association for Sport and Physical Education), have been implemented at 417 schools and best-in-class professional development has been provided to close to 200 teachers.

For the first time, this year’s Keep Gym in School campaign will be honoring an “NFL Network PE Teacher of the Year.” The public can nominate PE teachers online at http://www.keepgyminschool.com between September 1-January 31 and the winning NFL Network “PE Teacher of the Year” will be announced at an event in New York City during 2011 NFL Draft Week. The winning teacher will receive a $10,000 award in addition to a $10,000 grant for his/her school’s PE program.

“NFL Network created the Keep Gym in School program with the goal of increasing access to in-school physical activity and teaching kids the skills they need to sustain a healthy lifestyle,” said Dena Kaplan, Senior Vice President, Marketing, NFL Network. “Only 35% of students are physically active for 60 minutes at least 5 days per week. And many schools are cutting back on PE programs due to of lack of resources at the same time that childhood obesity rates are climbing.”

Comcast is the new, exclusive partner for the 2010 NFL Network Keep Gym in School program, donating media value to air Public Service Announcements in the entertainment provider’s markets to help spread the word about the importance of physical education.

“Comcast is proud to partner with NFL Network on its Keep Gym in School campaign to help raise awareness about the importance of quality physical education programs in schools,” said Charisse R. Lillie, Vice President of Community Investment for Comcast Corporation, and Executive Vice President, Comcast Foundation. “This program tackles the serious health issue of childhood obesity in our country by providing resources that will help kids live healthier lives.”

“I am honored to support NFL Network’s Keep Gym in School Program because I believe that physical education is an essential component of a complete education,” said Nnamdi Asomugha. “PE courses educate children on the benefits of an active lifestyle and the importance of team work and perseverance; skills which have contributed greatly to my own personal career and life successes.”

NFL Network is proud to be continuing its Keep Gym in School grant initiative which funds major improvements to sports and fitness facilities at four middle schools every year. This year, NFL players including Nnamdi Asomugha from the Oakland Raiders, Brian Dawkins from the Denver Broncos, Antwaan Randle El and Rashard Mendenhall from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michael Turner from the Atlanta Falcons will visit the four middle schools that have each been awarded a $25,000 grant. The players will lead the students at Kepner Middle School (Denver), Camp Creek Middle School (Atlanta), Roosevelt Middle School (Pittsburgh) and Arsenal Middle School (Oakland) in a pep rally, unveil the new physical education equipment and facilities made possible by the $25,000 and participate in an on-field mini-camp with fitness tests and football-inspired drills.

NFL Network is also expanding and improving its program in the following ways:

  •     Keep Gym in School NFL Play 60 Challenge. Students from every middle school in the grantee’s district as well as former grant schools are invited to compete in an In-School Fitness Program to assess student fitness, encourage students to stay active and allow teachers to monitor student progress throughout the year. One student from each school district will earn a trip to the NFL Draft, based on their performance in the Fitness Program.
  •     Continuing Support Grants. Middle schools in the eight districts that were beneficiaries in the last two years’ grant programs will be eligible for $2,500 continuing support grants. NFL Network will work with the districts to select recipients. All middle schools will also be offered the chance to participate in the NFL Play 60 Challenge.
  •     Professional Development. In partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), Keep Gym in School will offer professional development workshops for physical educators in the eight previous districts. In addition, football-inspired lesson plans and activity guides are available to PE instructors for free at http://www.keepgyminschool.com/educators.html.

A final ongoing element of the NFL Network Keep Gym in School initiative is the Keep Gym in School National Honors at NFL Draft Week 2010. NFL Network hosts a national honors event in New York City during NFL Draft Week to recognize our teachers and top-performing students from adopted school districts.

In previous years, NFL Network has worked with partners and players including XLIV Super Bowl Champion News Orleans Saints and former Arizona Cardinal and current NFL Network analyst, Kurt Warner.

Nnamdi Asomugha has emerged as one of the league’s best cornerbacks, earning him a starting position in the 2009 and 2010 Pro Bowl. In 2009, Asomugha received the prestigious Oakland Raiders “Commitment to Excellence” Award and was named the team’s MVP. As Chairman of the Asomugha Foundation, Nnamdi works to further support education and empowerment through the Asomugha College Tour for Scholars, a college tour and mentoring program which provides high-achieving students of color the opportunity to tour college campuses across the country. Aware of the importance of education, Asomugha graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has participated in Harvard Business School’s executive education program that addresses the unique business opportunities and challenges faced by NFL players during and following their professional careers. Nnamdi speaks annually at the Clinton Global Initiative University alongside former president Bill Clinton about his commitment to education. As a result of his hard work throughout his community, he has been nominated for the NFLPA Byron “Whizzer” White Award every year since 2005, winning the 2010 award. In June 2010, Asomugha was also the first athlete presented with the Jefferson Award for Public Service, which honors volunteerism in America and is considered the Nobel Prize for community service and counts Oprah Winfrey, Gen. Colin Powell and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor among past recipients.

Thirty-two percent of American children and adolescents are overweight or obese and nationwide childhood obesity has more than TRIPLED since 1980.

For more information about Keep Gym in School, visit http://www.keepgyminschool.com.

About NFL Network:
NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the only television network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football. For more information, log on to http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork. NFL.com is the exclusive Internet home of NFL Network.

About Comcast Corporation:
Comcast Corporation (http://www.comcast.com) is one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 23.2 million video customers, 16.4 million high-speed Internet customers, and 8.1 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.

Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, 11 regional sports networks operated by Comcast Sports Group and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet businesses, including Comcast.net (http://www.comcast.net). Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, which owns two professional sports teams, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, and a large, multipurpose arena in Philadelphia, the Wells Fargo Center, and, through Global Spectrum, manages other facilities for sporting events, concerts and other events.

About the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE):
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is the non-profit professional membership association that sets the standard for best practice in quality physical education and sport programs. NASPE is the largest of the five national associations that make up the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)

PR CONTACTS:

Marnie Black             
Amy Briskin
MBPR                
MBPR    
(917) 828-7308            
(212) 794-6644

Dennis Johnson
NFL Network
(310) 840-4686

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