SHAPE America and Gopher Sport Announce Partnership to Support Health and Physical Education in Communities and Schools Across the Country

Matt Mixer, Executive Director Adapted Physical Education, Advocacy, Best Practices, Future Professionals, Marketing, Membership, News & Events, Partnerships, Public Relations, SHAPE America

RESTON, VA, October 17, 2018 – Gopher Sport and SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators today announced a three-year partnership to plan, market and implement two new programs to support health and physical education: the Big Feats for SHAPE America Virtual Race and Health. Moves. Minds.™, an educational fundraising program.

The Big Feats Virtual Race is a community-based, service-oriented program designed to engage students, parents, teachers, and the community at-large in a 10-week physical activity challenge beginning on October 22 and culminating on December 31. Virtual race participants set their own movement and/or distance goals and complete the race on their own time, at their own pace — and at any location they choose.

Eighty percent of all funds raised during the Big Feats Virtual Race will be allocated to 10 schools in high-need areas across the country (selected through the SHAPE America Impact Schools Grant Program). The remaining funds will be used by SHAPE America and its participating state affiliates to support advocacy efforts and professional development at the state and national levels. Gopher Sport will provide marketing support for the virtual race and will underwrite all of the program’s direct expenses.

Health. Moves. Minds. is a school-based program with both educational and fundraising components. It will focus on core areas related to health and wellness and will include new standards-based classroom and event resources for teachers. Before launching nationally, the Health. Moves. Minds. program will begin as a pilot in early 2019, targeting a select number of elementary schools across the country. During this pilot, students will have the opportunity to raise money to support their own school’s health and physical education program.

“Gopher Sport is thrilled to be partnering with SHAPE America on these two new, exciting programs to support and expand the health and physical activity of students across the country,” says Gopher Sport Vice President of Marketing Matt Ginskey. “The Big Feats Virtual Race is a great opportunity to spark and influence change in high-need schools for the benefit of both students and teachers. We’re also delighted to be a part of the new school-based program, Health. Moves. Minds., which allows students to raise funds to support their school and important local causes. SHAPE America has done tremendous work to make these programs a reality, and we look forward to many years of partnership that continue the advancement of physical education, health, and physical activity for future generations.”

The Big Feats Virtual Race and Health. Moves. Minds. programs offer flexible opportunities for teachers and schools seeking more choices for educational fundraising activities that support health and physical education. Through effective health and PE programs, teachers can prepare students to lead healthy, physically active lives, which can improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing a variety of health conditions.

“Through this partnership, Gopher Sport is making a significant investment in program development to benefit schools across the country and most importantly the health of our nation’s children,” says SHAPE America CEO Stephanie A. Morris. “We are thrilled to partner with Gopher Sport on these new programs that align with our organization’s mission. This partnership between SHAPE America and Gopher Sport is grounded in doing what is right…for the health and physical education profession, schools, our communities and students.”