Navy Cross recipient Aubrey McDade and NFL alumnus Eric Swann join PHIT’s ‘Movement’
WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — PHIT America president Jim Baugh today announced the addition of two new members to its board of directors. PHIT America has already helped more than 850,000 youth become active through its AMPED, PLAY GOLF, PLAY TENNIS and PLAY PICKLEBALL Programs, and is working aggressively toward its goal of helping 50 million youth.
The latest business leaders added to PHIT’s board include retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant Aubrey McDade and retired NFL player Eric Swann. McDade is a Navy Cross recipient, and Swann is a 10-year NFL veteran, two-time Pro Bowl player and only first round draft pick to never play college football.
“The moment I met Aubrey and Eric I knew they would become important additions to our Board,” said Baugh. “These gentlemen have the knowledge and networks we need to impact millions of kids. Their passion for kids’ fitness and health, and the fact that they are leaders in key areas impacted by the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ — military and sports – make them both ideal board members.”
According to Baugh, a 2022 study from the Pentagon shows that 77% of young Americans would not qualify for military service without a waiver because of being overweight, using drugs, or having physical and mental health problems. In fact, military leaders are becoming increasingly concerned that this is a national security issue of potentially epic proportion.
“The physical fitness level of the majority of our nation’s youth is alarming,” says McDade. “Instead of stepping up our efforts to get kids fit, we’re lowering our fitness standards. This must stop!”
McDade adds, “As a retired Marine and Navy Cross recipient, I have seen battle and what is required – both physically and mentally – to withstand it. By the time kids get to high school, it is challenging to change their mindsets. We must encourage and support efforts that get youth addicted to the “miracle drug” of fitness while still in elementary school.”
Baugh further adds, “Last year Tom Cotton referred to Army fitness standards as pathetic and I agree. At one Army base, we are spending $200 million on fitness camps to get recruits fit. What if we used that money in schools to get all kids active and fit? It would help every kid…including those who want to join the military.”
In addition to the impact the “Inactivity Pandemic” is having on national defense, Baugh notes that 90% of U.S. children are not active to CDC standards, and that they are “ticking time bombs” that will overwhelm our nation’s healthcare system when they become adults. This sentiment is shared by new PHIT America board member Swann.
“I share Jim’s concern about the impact that inactivity is having on the physical and mental health of American youth,” says Swann. “As a child, I had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Participating in physical education activities during the school day allowed me to burn off the energy I needed to concentrate. I cannot imagine what I would have done without it. Today, far too many schools have little or no physical education.”
Swann adds, “The links between physical fitness, academic performance and mental health are undeniable. I strongly support PHIT’s mission to get physical education back in all our nation’s schools, and the organization’s corresponding efforts to get kids interested in lifetime sports, such as running/walking, golf, tennis and pickleball.”
PHIT America goes to the ‘roots’ of physical activity, school PE programs, to make sure more kids are active, fit and healthy, according to Baugh. “In a study by UNICEF, US kids are ranked last in physical health. PHIT America’s programs are impactful. I look forward to working with our two newest board members to get 50 million kids active, and therefore healthier, smarter and happier,” says Baugh.
Established in 2013, PHIT America is a non-profit organization that leads a national movement to improve the physical and mental health of 50 million children. All data and research sources can be found at IP.PHITAmerica.org. PHIT America is led by Sports Industry and Tennis Industry Hall of Fame Inductee, and former President of Wilson Sporting Goods, Jim Baugh. For more information, visit PHITAmerica.org.
SOURCE PHIT America