In a bid to fight physical inactivity among American students, Berean Christian School introduced its new pickleball equipment on Tuesday. The school welcomed around forty-four students who eagerly took part in their first pickleball session in the gymnasium. Generously donated by PHIT America, the $2,000 set of paddles, netting, and balls kept the children engaged and physically active for hours.
Jim Baugh, the president of PHIT America, emphasized the seriousness of physical inactivity in the United States. Baugh stated that physical inactivity has become a pandemic, with detrimental effects on multiple aspects of society such as healthcare costs, academic achievement, life expectancy, and military preparedness. Recognizing the urgency, PHIT America aims to place pickleball systems in twenty-five schools throughout Martin and Palm Beach counties by the end of this year and the next.
Given the limited financial resources allocated for physical education programs in schools, PHIT America aims to supplement these budgets by providing Pickleball equipment. According to Shape America, most schools only have a meager budget of $462 for their entire physical education programs. By donating equipment, PHIT America hopes to enhance the quality and variety of physical activities offered to students.
Pickleball ambassador KaSandra Gehrke, representing PHIT America, met with numerous Physical Education teachers from Palm Beach County on Monday. Gehrke introduced PHIT America’s Play Pickleball program, sparking interest from about forty teachers. Highlighting the benefits of physical education classes, researchers emphasize that these sessions contribute more than just physical fitness. They inspire self-discipline, foster peer relationships, provide stress relief, teach goal-setting, and have a positive impact on academic performance.
PHIT America’s agenda extends beyond meeting the minimum requirements set by the Florida government. They aim to motivate children to be active and reduce their reliance on electronic devices. By encouraging extra physical activity, they hope to counter the sedentary lifestyles that increasingly plague younger generations. The introduction of pickleball equipment in schools is just one step in their overarching strategy to reverse the negative consequences of physical inactivity.
As PHIT America continues to strive towards its goals, the impact of introducing pickleball in Berean Christian School and other educational institutions will hopefully serve as a catalyst for healthier, more active lifestyles among children.