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Nike puts spotlight on need for more physical activity for kids

WASHINGTON, D.C. (4 May, 2005) – Bringing its voice to Capitol Hill today, Nike challenges the government, companies and organizations to do more to create quality, physical activity programs for America’s youth. “For the first time in 100 years, kids today have a shorter life expectancy than their parents,” said Molly White, Director of US Community Affairs. “Our national epidemic of youth inactivity and unhealthy weight has worsened with the decline of school-based P.E. programs. Studies show these programs are some of the most effective ways to increase activity among youth. We believe one way to reverse this trend is for companies, organizations and the government to work together to help bring daily P.E. classes taught by P.E. specialists back to schools.”

Nike has made a long-term commitment to help kids get physically active, through its signature affairs program, NikeGO. From PE in the classrooms, to bringing physical activity to afterschool programs, and most recently, by providing training and physical activity programs for preschoolers, Nike makes good on its promise to get kids moving. Last year alone, Nike reached over 150,000 kids in 60 U.S. cities with ongoing, in-depth physical activity programs. NikeGO’s goal is to get kids active for at least 30 minutes at a time, several times a week, making sure every child feels successful and has fun in his or her activity.

Nike, along with thousands of schools and organizations nationwide, is celebrating National Physical Education (PE) Day® during the month of May to emphasize how quality, daily physical education needs to be part of the solution to fight childhood inactivity and unhealthy weight.

Each year, National PE Day® is celebrated by schools and communities nationwide to show their support for PE and the role it plays in combating the health problems facing America’s youth today. The commemorative day, launched by PE4life (www.pe4life.org) in 2001, coincides with an intense advocacy effort with Congress in Washington D.C., featuring sports celebrities passionate about increasing physical activity for American kids. This is Nike’s third year participating in National PE Day®.

This year, meetings were held with members of Congress to encourage them to support the Carol M. White Physical Education for Progress (PEP) grant program and provide at least $100 million for physical education funding for fiscal year 2006, up from $70 million in 2004.

About NikeGO NikeGO is Nike's signature U.S. community affairs initiative and the company’s long-term commitment to getting kids more physically active. The program's mission is to increase physical activity in youths, offering them the support and motivation to become physically active, stay healthy and have fun. In its most recent fiscal year, Nike contributed more than $10.5 million in cash and products and served more than 150,000 kids through its programs and partnerships. Visit www.nikego.com for additional information.

About PE4life Founded in January 2000, PE4life inspires active, healthy living by advancing the development of quality, daily physical education programs for all children.  The organization’s philosophy is that daily physical education provides a simple and inexpensive solution to the physical inactivity epidemic by reducing children's exposure to chronic diseases, while fostering lifelong fitness habits. PE4life’s goals for helping kids get active include: raising awareness about the physical inactivity levels of America's youth and the state of physical education across the nation; promoting the need for educational policy reform, including standardized fitness and cognitive health tests for students in grades K-12; promoting model quality physical education programs in every state; empowering physical educators, parents and community leaders to become advocates for quality, daily physical education; and stimulating private and public funding for quality physical education.