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Illinois Parks & Recreation
May/June 1995 • Volume 26, Number 3

The Presidential Spores Award Program
Go For It!

The Presidential Sports Award program was developed by the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports in 972 in conjunction with national sports organizations and associations. Its purpose is to motivate all Americans to become more physically active throughout life and emphasizes regular exercise rather than outstanding performance. The program is administered by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

The challenge of the Presidential Sports Award is to make a commitment to fitness through active and regular participation in sports and fitness activities. Earning the award means that you have put in time and effort to meet the challenge of personal fitness. The Award recognizes this achievement, and the fact that you are part of a nationwide effort toward a healthier, more vital America.

Anyone age six (6) or older is eligible to participate in the Presidential Sports Award (PSA) program. However, the completed fitness log (s) of all participants between the ages of 6-13 must be signed and verified by an adult. In addition, it is especially important that participants over the age of 40 who have not been active on a regular basis undergo a thorough medical examination before undertaking any physical activity program.

The Award can be earned in 67 different categories, ranging from aerobic dance to wrestling. Participants have four months to fulfill the requirements established for each category. Nearly 22,000 Americans earned awards in 1994, and the most popular categories (in terms of awards earned) were: sports/fitness (3,0001 awards), tae kwon do (2,629),aerobic dance (2,488), fitness walking (2,146) and karate (1,934). Men accounted for 54% of all awards earned, and youth ages 6-13 made up the most active age group, earning 27% of all awards. Recipients between the ages of 30-39 accounted for 22% of all awards, 40-49 (15%), 20-29 (12%), 14-19 (12%), 50-59 (8%), and the remainder were earned by those 60 and older.

Individuals who earn an award receive a personalized certificate of achievement from President Clinton; a letter of congratulations from the co-chairs of the Council, Florence Griffith Joyner and Tom McMillen; an impressive embroidered emblem signifying the sport in which the award was earned; and a shoe pocket to hold identification information while an individual works out. Family fitness recipients will receive an additional chevron to place above the emblem.

It is very important that all participants take necessary steps to make their activity enjoyable and safe. Unfortunately, unintentional injuries can occur even when proper safety precautions are taken. For example, a helmet should be as common for a bicycler as for a football player; racquetball players and shooters should wear appropriate eye protection; and walkers, joggers, runners, and bicyclists should make sure that they are visible to motorists.

The PSA program runs entirely on participant fees, and there is a $6 fee per award to cover the cost of the award materials, postage, and handling. Program brochures and additional information for both group programs and individuals may be obtained by sending a stamped, self- addressed envelope to: President Sports Award, P.O. Box 68207, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0207. The phone number is (317) 872-2900 and fax (317) 875-0548.

The President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports encourages participation in as many categories as possible. The wide variety of sports and fitness activities promotes health and vitality throughout life.

Go for it!*


Illinois Parks & Recreation* May/June 1995* 35

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