The World Fit Program will include the following six components:
Each Olympian/Paralympian may adopt up to up to three schools in the region where he or she lives. The Olympian will adopt the schools for life. That is, the Olympian will return to each school for a 15-minute presentation every year so long as he or she is physically and emotionally capable and willing to do so. Each student in the school will potentially experience the entire World Fit program, with its important messages, 3 or 4 times during his or her school tenure (grades 3-5 or 6-8).
Beginning the first day after spring break and ending six weeks later (typically about two weeks before school ends), students will participate in a daily walking program, where the numbers of miles walked (or jogged or run) will be logged each day and totaled. All walking will occur on the school campus on a measured course and will be supervised by teachers. Additional credit miles will be awarded to students who have World Fit Buddies (anyone not a student in the program) at a rate of ½ of the miles walked by the Buddy. Students who are already participating in other sports programs (swimming or soccer, for example) will be credited miles for their sports participation according to their time of participation and the category of sport. Schools and students can learn about World Fit on our website. There, they will read inspirational stories about Olympians and their student peers, register for the Walk, log their daily miles throughout the Walk and the remainder of the year and post photos for other students to see. In the future, an optional fundraising component may be offered for the Walk to help raise money for the schools and for the World Fit Foundation.
World Fit will create and maintain a social community around our program and connect physical activity with normative student on-line behavior. Our website is a collaborative on-line environment that facilitates the involvement of Olympians, families and students, helps community leaders work more effectively, and acts as a repository for exercise data and survey information tied to the ongoing research on the program’s effectiveness.
On one day during the 6 week World Fit Walk program (preferably during the first week) an Olympian/Paralympian will visit his or her school for a 15-minute presentation to the student body about the importance of lifelong fitness, good health and Olympism. It is anticipated that a half day or, in some cases, a full day of missed work will be required to make each presentation (sometimes the full student body cannot be assembled at once, so the presentation may need to be given 2 or 3 times on the same day). Best efforts will be made to have the media present for the Olympic presentation and, if possible, the Olympian or Paralympian will walk with the students on campus.
At the completion of the World Fit Walk program, students who reach a minimum of 60 miles will receive a World Fit certificate for their achievement signed by the Olympian or Paralympian, the Athletic Director and the Principal of the school. Students that reach 120 miles logged during the six week Walk will receive President’s Active Lifestyle Award certificates. Twenty-five Olympic style medals are given to each participating school to award to their top students. The Olympian may also choose to present the awards to the students, depending on availability.
World Fit is currently seeking partners and donors to help provide ongoing research with credible institutions to support the efficacy of its programs.