3 Indiana schools have chance to share $100,000 for fitness facilities

Contest to install fitness facilities in Indiana schools

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hoosiers schools have a chance to win a new $100,000 fitness facility.

The Don’t Quit! Campaign works with governors’ offices to award and build fitness facilities in schools around the country. It’s a partnership with the governors’ offices and the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils.

The application process opened Monday. The Don’t Quit Campaign will award three elementary or middle schools in Indiana with a new fitness facility for students, teachers and the entire community.

Jake Steinfeld, chairman of the National Foundation of Governors’ Fitness Councils, said, “We ask the school to keep the fitness center open before and after school and on weekends so not just for the kids and the teachers but for moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles.”

Steinfeld says the purpose of this campaign is about building confidence at a young age. “This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is a kids’ issue.”

Funding for this project comes from public and private partnerships. The foundation has put more than 100 gyms in schools in 32 states and Steinfeld says each of them is different.

“It could be in an old lunch room. It could be in an old classroom. It could be in a classroom that hasn’t been used in a long time and they break down a wall and it becomes one big room,” Steinfeld said.

Steinfeld says school or city size doesn’t matter when it comes to picking the winner. He says it is about the community. To enter, community members need to make a video on a phone and explain why the school deserves this facility. Deadline is March 20.

Alyssa Perry, who has a child living with her, reacted to the campaign. “Little kids tend to have a lot of energy and that is where a lot of habits tend to develop when you are younger.”

“In my mind, I feel like maybe the older schools would benefit from it more just because I know the 7-year-old that lives with me would not use half of that equipment,” Perry said.

Jeff Brentlinger, of Indianapolis, said, “I think fitness is important for kids and for adults. I mean I ran track and cross country in high school and, you know, I don’t see kids out playing like they did when I was a kid.”

Indiana ranks 13th in the country for obesity rates among children ages 10 to 17.

In a news release on the partnership, Gov. Eric Holcomb said, “I am excited that Jake decided he wanted to bring the DON’T QUIT! Campaign to Indiana, because it will empower more kids to develop healthy habits that they’ll take with them throughout life.”