Dallas Stars President and CEO Jim Lites announced today the launch of Fitness Stars, a physical education pilot program aimed at fighting childhood obesity through hockey-based fitness challenges. The program will launch in all 26 Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District elementary schools during the month of November, serving over 14,000 children as phase one of the initiative.
"Childhood obesity is an epidemic in North Texas and we feel that as a sports franchise we have the responsibility to use our resources to help promote awareness and solutions to this serious issue," Lites said. "We have designed a program that teaches children how to establish lifelong healthy habits while incorporating the physical activity of the sport of hockey."
Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon serves as the spokesperson for Fitness Stars, and plays an active role in the program's implementation.
"Staying active and eating healthy as a child were big reasons why I was able to achieve my goal of becoming a professional athlete," Dillon said. "Getting to be a part of a program like Fitness Stars is just one way that I can encourage healthy life choices and help kids in the same way people helped me growing up."
The program kicked off today at Thompson Elementary at a special pep rally in the school's auditorium followed by a street hockey clinic for third through fifth graders put on by Dillon and members of the Dallas Stars Alumni Association.
The Stars will donate all necessary hockey equipment to participating schools which includes Floorball equipment, Fitness Stars bracelets and collectable charms, wall charts to track children's progress and additional instructional materials.
Participants will complete five Fitness Stars challenges and collect Fitness Stars charms after achieving each goal. Top Fitness Stars each year will be honored on-ice during an intermission at a Dallas Stars home game at American Airlines Center.
Phase Two of the program will involve expanding to 100 additional schools and recreation centers by 2014. Fitness Stars is supported in part by JCPenney, Children's Medical Center, Floorball Planet and the Dallas Stars Foundation.
Schools interested in receiving more information regarding application for the Fitness Stars program can visit http://www.dallasstars.com/fitnessstars.