Opinion Piece: The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

Our Physical Education friends have a lot of different opinions and while we may or may not agree with all of them, we definitely value their input and want them to keep on talkin’!

Check out what C.J. Cain, Physical Educator from Panther Run Elementary in Lake Worth, FL has to say about the new committee for the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Read the blog and let us know what you think in the comments below.

ATTENTION: The views expressed in this article are those of the author (C.J. Cain) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to Exergame Fitness USA. This is a great article that can promote discussion. Please feel free to add your responses below.

Author: C.J. Cain

Yesterday the First Lady launched the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Read the official press release here. Looking at the council members it appears not one person has experience as a Physical Educator. This disappoints me. This looks more like a PR gimmick than an actual agent of change.

Why not seek out the best of the best from the world of Physical Education for their insight? Why not include like Dr. Ratey and Dr. Medina who have studied the effects of exercise on the brain for their insight? Why not include Dr. David Katz for his insight into child nutrition?

Nothing personal, but I’d rather lean on the knowledge and minds of people like Dr. Robert Pangrazi and the other great Physical Educators of our time on matters concerning Physical Activity, Sports, and Fitness than Carl Edwards who drives a race car for a living. While I respect the accomplishments of the individuals appointed to this Council it is my opinion that they are not the right people for this very important job.

We wouldn’t ask Homer Simpson for advice after a power plant accident. Why are we not including Physical Educators on these councils? Why is Physical Education and the importance of the Physical Educator not being promoted more through the “Let’s Move” initiative?

We need to stop pretending that having a bunch of professional athletes lending their name to support obesity initiatives is going to make more of difference than the people who come in contact children everyday – parents, teachers (especially) Physical Educators), and the members of their community. That’s where it starts. That’s where it happens. That’s where the support needs to be. That’s who we need to be listening to.

With that being said, I would be remised if I didn’t commend Annika Sorenstam for her commitment to fighting childhood obesity. I have tremendous respect for Annika. She’s donating her time and money to passionately fight childhood obesity. Her example is one professional athletes should follow. Annika is not simply lending her name to PR council’s like Obama announced yesterday. She is out making a difference and is to be commended for all that she does for children and families.

In closing, it’s my opinion that a Physical Education summit is needed. It’s time for the leaders from within Physical Education to come together to discuss Physical Education as it is today & put an actionable plan together to move Physical Education forward. Government once again has made it clear that it values Public Relations more than solutions as it relates to fighting Childhood Obesity. I’m certain if you asked the athletes appointed to this council that many of them would thank a Physical Educator for helping them along the way.

I encourage every Physical Educator to write a letter to Shellie Pfohl, the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and protest the failure to include a Physical Educator on the newly formed President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition:

Attn: Shellie Pfohl
1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 560
Rockville, MD 20852
240-276-9567
240-276-9860 Fax

Also send a copy of your letter to the President & First Lady:

The White House

Attn: President Barack & First Lady Michelle Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

C.J. Cain