As newest “Get Fit” partner, Sixers will provide school-based basketball clinics to students throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA – February 18, 2015 – The Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) is proud to announce that the Philadelphia 76ers (Sixers) are the newest Foundation Healthy Futures Initiative “Get Fit” partner. The Sixers will provide a school-based basketball clinic to fourth through sixth graders in Healthy Futures schools in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Get Fit teaches children the importance of physical activity and inspires them to make fitness a part of their daily lives at school and at home. By teaching children the benefits of exercise in a fun environment, the Foundation wants to inspire lasting change in families and communities. Get Fit activities include school fitness programs, community events, and visits from coaches and players.
On Thursday, February 19, Sixers alumni player World B. Free, joined by the Sixers’ new mascot Franklin, will host the first Healthy Futures basketball clinic at St. Gabriel School, an Independence Mission School in Grays Ferry, for a morning of fun, exercise, and health education. The 76-minute special event will feature fitness activities for the kids, personalized basketball skills training, and a lesson about leading a healthy lifestyle, including the importance of eating a healthy breakfast and getting enough sleep. The Foundation and Sixers will implement programming at other schools in the Healthy Futures program in the region throughout the year.
Launched in 2013 in 25 schools throughout the five-county Philadelphia area, Healthy Futures is a three-year, $3 million program focused on improving child wellness. Schools participating in Healthy Futures receive innovative tools and resources to help children Eat Right, Get Fit, and Stay Well — the initiative’s three core components. The Sixers’ participation expands the Healthy Futures fitness component which currently includes partnerships with the Philadelphia Union soccer team, Philadelphia Freedoms tennis team, and Fit Essentials, a customized weekly exercise program for kids.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the Philadelphia 76ers to the Healthy Futures family. Basketball is an exciting and easily accessible sport that encourages teamwork and communication,” said Foundation President Lorina Marshall-Blake. “Through the ‘Get Fit’ component, the Sixers will encourage and inspire children throughout the region to get active and stay healthy, while having fun!”
The Foundation has engaged Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions to conduct a three-year Healthy Futures study tracking changes such as height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. The study will also evaluate changes in students’ attitudes and perceptions about healthy living, food choices, and nutritional awareness. The study’s findings will help the Independence Blue Cross Foundation and its partners shape recommendations for future child wellness initiatives, as well as replicating the Healthy Futures program in other regions.
About the Independence Blue Cross Foundation:
The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is a charitable, private foundation, whose mission is leading solutions for a healthier community. The Foundation targets the following areas of impact:
- Securing the Blue Safety Net:Achieving sustainability of the regional safety net by building capacity in health centers.
- Bolstering the Health Care Workforce:Advancing the education and professional development of nurses and nurse leaders.
- Addressing Health Priorities:Addressing national health trends locally through community-driven research.
- Building Healthy Communities:Driving wellness by targeting specific and diverse community health needs.
Independence Blue Cross