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CAST YOUR VOTE - Three S.C. schools to be gifted $100,000 Don't Quit! Fitness Centers

Wildcats-Washington Middle School students working out on their new DON'T QUIT! fitness equipment. (The National Foundation for Governor's Fitness Councils Facebook)

Fitness icon and Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC), Jake Steinfeld, has selected South Carolina to be a part of the NFGFC's 2018 DON’T QUIT! fitness campaign.

Three schools will be gifted a $100,000, state-of-the-art DON'T QUIT Fitness Center that will be used to demonstrate leadership in getting and keeping students fit.

“Childhood obesity is a serious problem that can follow a child into adulthood. I’ve declared war on this preventable disease and I’m inspired to see elected leaders like Governor McMaster immediately jump on board to join the battle and welcome us into his state. Every state leader that I’ve met with recognizes that obesity is neither a democrat nor republican issue, it’s a kids issue and all have vowed to do everything possible to help,” said Steinfeld. “So far we’ve delivered DON’T QUIT! Fitness Centers in 24 states and Washington, DC and the response from students, teachers and communities has been unbelievable. Kids are excited about working out and being physically active and, as a result, their academic performance and self-esteem has skyrocketed. Now, South Carolina schools have an opportunity to make a change that will have a lasting impact on kids well into their future.”

“Teaching young people healthy habits at a young age has proven to be one of the most effective ways to encourage health and productivity later in life,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “The work that Jake and his team are doing around the country is something that South Carolina is proud to be a part of and a cause everyone can support. Our young people are the most important asset in our state and country, and we must do everything we can to support them and provide them with every opportunity for success.”

“The health of South Carolina’s students has a strong impact on their success in the classroom and throughout their lives,” said South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “I applaud Governor McMaster for recognizing the importance of ensuring our students are healthy and ready to learn and partnering with the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils to bring this exciting opportunity to South Carolina schools.”

The program will eventually make its way into all 50 states. Each center is financed through partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Anthem Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding.

All exercise equipment will be provided by U.S. made company, TuffStuff Fitness International.

The Foundation's goal is "to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world."

“I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact fitness centers have had on students and their communities. When you provide schools with the tools and inspiration, you’ll be amazed by the changes that take place,” continued Steinfeld. “Our children are our most precious resource and by providing them with a strong foundation in health and fitness, we can feel confident that they’ll excel beyond their wildest dreams.”

Physical activity can be extremely helpful not only in everyday life but also in a school setting. Studies have shown it can help academic achievement and many other issues that could impact a student's life.

School nominations are open now through Friday, April 6, 2018. Anyone can nominate a school by clicking here.

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