The 2010 National Lacrosse League Champion Washington Stealth has announced that their non-profit organization partner, Sticks-2-Schools, will be brought to the Pacific Northwest beginning in January 2011. Sticks-2-Schools provides equipment, curriculum and support for the physical education departments of area elementary, middle and high school programs as a new way for children to stay active and get fit.
The organization today announced that Rhys Duch, a third-year Stealth forward and the 2009 National Lacrosse League Rookie of the Year, has been named the Field Director for the program in Washington. In addition, several prominent community members have joined as board members, including Dan Nordstrom, CEO of Outdoor Research, Fred Wilmot, CEO of Walax.com and Steve Rohrbach, a local entrepreneur and an active member of the lacrosse community. They join previous board members Eric Venzon, CEO/CFO of Teamwrkx, Inc., David Takata, President of the Washington Stealth, Doug Locker, General Manager of the Stealth and Denise Watkins, owner of the Stealth.
“We are very excited to bring our successful Sticks 2 Schools Program to Washington,” said Watkins, the new President of Sticks-2-Schools. “This is a great program helps kids get fit and healthy. It's great to welcome local community members to the Sticks-2-Schools Board. I know that they'll be great assets for our organization. The board is actively looking for sponsors to help cover the costs of equipment and program implementation so we can support as many schools in the area as possible.”
In 2008, the Washington Department of Health estimated that 25% of students in grades six through twelve were overweight or obese. Several factors contribute to the increasing rates of overweight among children, such as fewer opportunities for physical activity, fewer meals eaten at home, media and marketing that target children with food advertisements, increased portion sizes, and increased amount of time in sedentary activities, including watching television and using computers. Through lacrosse, Sticks-2-Schools provides children with a new and fun way to stay active.
“Lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport in America,” said Duch. “It requires physical endurance, coordination and agility. By teaching children a new, fast-paced sport, it may spark interest in joining one of the numerous local clubs as an after school activity.”
About the Program
Sticks-2-Schools is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, organized under the 501(c)3 section of the tax code, that helps fight childhood obesity by motivating youth to increase their level of physical activity. The program began in 2005 in the San Francisco Bay Area and reached out to nearly 80 schools and 40,000 students.
Sticks-2-Schools anticipates being in schools throughout Western Washington in early 2011.
Members of the Stealth organization, including players and coaches, are very active in the Sticks-2-Schools program. They visit schools and begin the lacrosse curriculum, teaching students and the school’s PE teacher the basics of “soft lacrosse”, a co-ed, non-contact version of the sport. Equipment and curriculum implementation are provided at no cost to the schools.
Fundraising efforts to provide schools with the necessary equipment and training are ongoing. A fundraiser for the organization will take place on January 15th at Tech City Bowl in Kirkland, Wash. Businesses and individuals interested in partnering with Sticks-2-Schools in the fight against childhood obesity should contact Sticks-2-Schools Director Breanna Kernan at (425) 322-2623 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Sticks-2-Schools, visit www.sticks2schools.org.