CSU, Chico News

Fund-Raiser for Graduate Student Taking Cross-Country Trip to Promote Quality Physical Education

Date: 04-26-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Kids’ activities and parent education about the health benefits of exercise are part of a fund-raiser Saturday to aid a California State University, Chico graduate student who will be traveling across the country to help revitalize physical education.

The event-Help Us Fight Childhood Obesity-is Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Fit One Athletic Club’s Open House, 1026 Skyway, in Chico.

Starting this summer, Skye Dunn, a 31-year-old student completing his master’s degree in the Department of Kinesiology (formerly Physical Education and Exercise Science), will be promoting physical activity and quality physical education by walking, skating, biking, canoeing, kayaking, dancing, and dribbling from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic via the American Discovery Trail.

Dubbed Skye the P.E. Guy, Dunn hopes his unusual trek will draw attention to the critical issues of childhood obesity and substandard physical education in many schools.

His journey, which begins June 1 and ends in March 2008, will encompass about 5,000 miles at 20 miles a day, and he’ll be joined by the "Skye-Walkers," some of his closest friends. They will work as a support team accompanying him on legs of his journey driving an RV with equipment, clothes and food.

Dunn sees instilling the importance of physical activity in young people’s minds as key in fighting obesity. "Quality physical education helps students develop the skills, knowledge, and desire they need to be active now and for the rest of their lives," he said.

Unfortunately, many schools do not put necessary resources into P.E. classes, allowing them to be little more than recess time, Dunn said. He is in contact with P.E. teachers

throughout the United States and will visit their classes on his journey. He hopes to inspire P.E. teachers everywhere to be role models and advocates in their communities for quality physical education and lifelong healthy habits.

Students and teachers at schools across the country can sign up to be Skye-Walkers at www.csuchico.edu/casper and participate in a Skye-Walkers Challenge to get kids moving and make them aware of Skye the P.E. Guy. Businesses and individuals may adopt classes or schools and provide them with pedometers to use for this challenge and to continue using.

Saturday’s activities at Fit One Athletic Club will include a talk by CSU, Chico kinesiology professor Cathrine Himberg on "Raising Healthy, Active Children" at noon and 1 p.m. Kids’ activities include an obstacle course, bounce house, basketball and soccer. Dunn will be raising money for his trip and CASPER (CSU, Chico’s Center for Advancement of Standards-based Physical Education Reform) through pedometer sales and a Trainer Treadmill Competition.

For more information, go to CASPER’s Web site or call Himberg at 898-5239.