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DC Pro Sports Teams Join Forces With Coca-Cola to Battle Childhood Obesity | Community Spirit

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DC Pro Sports Teams Join Forces With Coca-Cola to Battle Childhood Obesity

The Coca-Cola Company, Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics, Washington Nationals, Washington Redskins and Washington Wizards joined forces at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, September 28 to announce a unique partnership aimed at educating local area youth about the importance of physical activity and a balanced diet. The collective influence of these high profile partners is expected to amplify the need to educate and engage area youth about eating right and keeping fit. These are shared goals for Washington’s professional sports teams and Coca-Cola, giving youth an exciting opportunity to connect with local icons and teaching them how to “play like pros and eat like pros.”  The D.C.-area alliance, which is an extension of Coca-Cola’s numerous Live Positively programs, will serve as a pilot program for future partnerships between Coca-Cola and professional sports teams throughout the country.

“It is not often that all professional sports team owners in a city can present a unified front to support a cause, but the issue of childhood obesity, while a nationwide problem, is particularly an issue in the Nation’s Capitol, which is among the cities with the highest childhood obesity rates in the country,” said Dori Silverman, Vice President of Field Execution for Coca-Cola North America.  “To coincide with National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we brokered a partnership among the D.C.-area teams, which we hope will bring the community together to encourage active and healthy living.”

The announcement – which included star athletes like the Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom, Mystics’ Crystal Langhorne, Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman, Redskins’ Chris Cooley and Wizards’ Josh Howard – marked the kick-off of the “Live Positively: Get the Ball Rolling” partnership initiative for Washington, D.C. Through this new partnership, youth from D.C., Maryland and Virginia will have the opportunity to learn about living a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating right at a series of fitness clinics led by staff and professional athletes from the Capitals, Mystics, Nationals, Redskins and Wizards as well as area nutrition experts.

“Today is a perfect example of a double bottom-line partnership – great teams and a great partner in Coca-Cola. We are joining forces and coming together to benefit the community and our youth. Our teams are committed to featuring healthy choices at our events and promoting programs that encourage visible signs of change,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and CEO and majority owner of the Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics and Washington Wizards Ted Leonsis.

Washington Nationals’ vice chairman and principal owner Mark D. Lerner added, “Our athletes serve as role models to our kids, and we understand the importance of inspiring kids to lead active and healthy lifestyles. We are thrilled to partner with Coca-Cola and the other Washington sports teams to encourage kids and families to be active and healthy here in our Nation’s Capital.”

“As a native Washingtonian, I am well aware that childhood obesity is a real problem in our Nation’s Capitol,” said Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins. “The Redskins have been active champions in the fight against childhood obesity through our commitment with the NFL Play 60 program. We are excited for the opportunity to partner with Coca-Cola and the owners and players from Washington’s best professional sports leagues to teach local youth the value of exercise, sport and healthy living.”

Each sports team, along with Coca-Cola, will host a workshop clinic in October that will focus on teaching youth the importance of exercising and eating a balanced diet. Professional athletes and nutrition experts will run fitness drills and give nutrition lessons for kids to take home and share with their families. The four planned October clinics will include participation by 750-1000 youth throughout the Washington, D.C. region.