CSU, Chico News

Skye The P.E. Guy Begins Cross-Country Trek Promoting Quality Physical Education to Fight Childhood Obesity

Date: 05-31-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico’s intrepid Skye “The P.E. Guy” Dunn embarks on his coast-to-coast adventure next week advocating healthy and high-quality physical education as an answer to the nation’s obesity problem.

The 2007 CSU, Chico alumnus takes a dip into the Pacific Ocean Monday morning, June 4, thus beginning what will likely be a nine-month trek to the Atlantic via the American Discovery Trail. En route, he will visit P.E. classes and promote quality physical education by walking, skating, biking, skiing, canoeing, snowshoeing, kayaking, dancing and dribbling a basketball across America.

Dunn will be meeting at 9 a.m. Monday with approximately 30-50 friends, family, classmates and schoolchildren at Golden Gate Vista Point, located on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate bridge just east of Highway 101. At 10:30 a.m., many of those gathered will walk across the bridge with him as he begins his trip.

As he makes his way 5,000 miles eastward, Dunn will be accompanied by a group of four friends, aka the “Skye-Walkers.” They will drive an RV with supplies and support him in his journey.

To prepare for his trip, Dunn has been running, biking or skating a minimum of 10-15 miles per day this year, and adding additional workouts three days a week. “I am so excited about getting on the road,” Dunn said. “I am really looking forward to meeting people and talking about quality physical education and its role in fighting the obesity epidemic.”

Dunn, 31, recently completed his master’s degree from the Department of Kinesiology (formerly Physical Education and Exercise Science) at CSU, Chico. At the age of 26, he decided to leave a desk job to pursue an
occupation that would incorporate his love for physical activity. He has a BA in physical education teacher education, and is qualified by the state in the subject matter of P.E.

During his graduate program, Dunn decided to devote himself to the promotion of lifetime activities in physical education, and came up with the “Skye The P.E. Guy” moniker and concept of crossing the country to dramatize the urgent need for health and exercise for children.

Dunn believes physical education is a crucial part of the solution to the obesity problem in the U.S. “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.

In addition, Dunn feels many people need a new appreciation for the importance of well-funded, standards-based physical education. He wants to empower parents, school administrators and elected officials to demand quality physical education classes and decry P.E. classes that are little more than “babysitting” recess periods.

While on his cross-country trek, Dunn will be encouraging people to follow his trip on-line via www.SkyeThePEguy.org and become supporters of quality P.E. through such activities as advocating for physical education to state and federal officials or “adopting” a P.E. class and supplying it with better equipment. Students and teachers will have an opportunity to be “Skye-Walkers” by taking the “Skye-Walkers Challenge” and becoming advocates themselves for high-quality P.E.

For more information on his trip, contact Dunn at (530) 230-8745 or skyethepeguy@hotmail.com. For more information about physical education issues, contact kinesiology professor Cathrine Himberg, founder of CSU, Chico’s Center for Advancement of Standards-based Physical Education Reform (CASPER), at (530) 898-6373, or go to the CASPER Web site at http://www.supportREALteachers.org.