Friday, April 3, 2009

ING Announces Awards Program for Schools Nationwide

/PRNewswire/ -- ING has launched a new awards program that will provide 50 $2,000 grants to schools that desire to establish a school-based running program or expand an existing one. ING is expanding its efforts to help fight childhood obesity and introduce kids to the benefits of running, a habit of physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices through the ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).

"The ING Run For Something Better School Awards is a natural enhancement to ING Run For Something Better, allowing us to empower even more children nationwide with the opportunity to achieve and maintain healthier lifestyles," said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president, Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. Through activity plans created by NASPE and based on the National Standards for Physical Education (NASPE, 2004), the grant awards program will help offer children a healthy start to life and foster their desire to exercise before obesity ever begins. "NASPE is thrilled to partner with ING Run For Something Better to help get children more physically active," said Fran Cleland, NASPE president and professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. "Quality physical activity programs introduce children to the joys of movement and are truly the beginning of health care reform."

The grant awards are available in all states to public elementary or middle schools for running programs that target fifth- though eighth-grade students. Schools must implement a minimum of an eight-week running program with a culminating event by Dec. 31, 2009. Applications for the ING Run For Something Better School Awards are being accepted through June 1, 2009. Applications, including complete eligibility requirements, are accessible at www.orangelaces.com/site/index/get_your_school_involved. Public donations to ING Run For Something Better fund the school awards program.

As the sponsor of a number of premier running events in the U.S., ING has been encouraging young people to get physically fit. The company developed ING Run For Something Better in 2003 as a way to give back to local communities. The national campaign provides funding for free, school-based running programs while teaching kids about the benefits of exercise and healthy lifestyle choices. Since the program's inception, over 40,000 children have participated in ING Run For Something Better, collectively running over 1.2 million miles.

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