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Women's Sports Foundation Campaigns to Get One Million Girls Active
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In an effort to combat the physical and psychological health hazards affecting America###s young girls, the Women###s Sports Foundation (WSF) is launching a three-year, multi-million dollar initiative to get one million inactive girls to participate in regular physical activity and keep another one million currently active girls ages 8-18 from dropping out of physical activity. Launched on the occasion of the Foundation###s 30th anniversary, the initiative - GoGirlGo! - is a national education and awareness campaign to arm adults and girls with tools to enable girls to live an active lifestyle and educate others about physical activity.

The Women###s Sports Foundation also released a report today on the impact of physical activity on the physical, psychological and cultural health of girls. "Her Life Depends On It," available on WomensSportsFoundation.org, points to physical activity and sport as fundamental solutions for many of the serious health and social problems faced by girls. These include obesity, heart disease, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression - which accounts for much of the more than $1 trillion spent on healthcare for treating these issues.

"The physical activity system for youth has disintegrated over the last 30 years. Parents fear for the safety of their children which limits after-school free play; organized sports are often expensive and not accessible to economically disadvantaged children; and mandatory daily physical education is disappearing from our schools. The result is a generation of sedentary youth with girls more adversely affected than boys. In 1974, only one out of 21 girls was obese or overweight; today that figure has increased to one in six, and it###s cause for action," stated Dawn Riley, WSF President. "Physical activity is key to reversing this trend. The Women###s Sports Foundation is committed to doing its part, but it will also require the commitment of parents, coaches, girls and many community and business partnerships to improve the future health of our daughters. GoGirlGo! directly addresses inactivity among girls and provides a real solution."

The centerpiece of the campaign is GoGirlGo.com, a destination where people can pledge to get a girl active and any girl can learn about over 100 sports and physical activities. The site features GoGirl World, a teen area where she can share her experiences via message boards, take a survey to see what sport might be just right for her interest and skill, as well as explore scholarship opportunities, and get tips on getting others involved.

The GoGirlGo! program includes four key components:

-- Education and awareness campaign - A free, curriculum-based educational program created for girls, coaches and parents to reinforce positive behaviors and educate one million currently active girls about the dangers of inactivity and negative habits that affect health.

-- Community-based activation - GoGirlGo! Days and public information campaigns will be conducted in pilot communities where active adults and girls can bring inactive girls to free "open houses" (GoGirlGo! Centers) to introduce them to various activity programs.

-- Grant Program - $2.6 million will be earmarked to enable new sport and physical activity opportunities to be offered to economically disadvantaged and underserved girls and expand programs to accommodate recruited inactive girls.

-- Peer-to-peer and adult-to-youth mentoring - High school athletes and active adults will be asked to pledge support to help get one million girls physically active - one girl at a time - through GoGirlGo.com.

"Girls do not receive the same encouragement as boys to participate in sport and physical activity which results in a lower participation rate. That###s why adults need to play an integral role in the solution - to be active role models and encourage girls to be physically active," said Dr. Doreen Greenberg, sports psychologist. "Physical activity comes in many shapes and sizes and doesn###t have to mean performing on an elite level to receive the important benefits of physical activity. On the contrary, moderate physical activity can make significant differences in medical prevention, self-esteem and success throughout a girl###s life."

For more information about GOGIRLGO! log onto www.GOGIRLGO.com. National sponsors Advanta, Gatorade, Russell Corporation and Moving Comfort and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company will activate their consumer networks to help educate girls and adults of all ages on the important role sport and physical activity plays in the lives of American girls.