Orioles team up with county schools to launch Health & Fitness Challenge

Program designed to encourage healthful lifestyles among middle school students

Adam Jones bats for the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. File photo
Adam Jones bats for the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. File photo

The Baltimore Orioles and the Sarasota County Schools are collaborating on a new initiative to encourage healthful lifestyles among middle school-aged children in Sarasota County, the team and the school district have announced.

The Orioles Health & Fitness Challenge, which was developed in partnership with Health Fit Powered by Sarasota Memorial, was launched on Jan. 19 to teach students about the importance of physical fitness, healthful eating and tobacco-free living an Orioles news release says.

The six-week program will be offered to approximately 4,000 students in grades six through eight at nine county schools, the release notes. “Students will participate in a variety of health and fitness challenges, including exercises to build endurance, strength, flexibility, speed, and balance,” and they will work toward healthful eating goals, the release says. Sarasota County Schools’ physical education teachers will present the program during regular school hours, the release explains.

After each week is completed, participating students will receive an Orioles-themed prize, the release adds. “Students who complete the entire six-week challenge will receive two complimentary tickets to an Orioles Spring Training game this season and vouchers for complimentary concessions at a new ‘Orioles Fit!’ healthy-food stand at Ed Smith Stadium [in Sarasota],” the release points out.

“The Orioles Health & Fitness Challenge offers students from Sarasota County Schools a unique opportunity to learn how to eat, train, and live like world-class athletes,” said John Angelos, Orioles executive vice president, in the release. “Through a variety of community outreach initiatives in Sarasota County and in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Orioles promote active lifestyles and healthy choices,” Angelos continued in the release. “We are committed to investing in the long-term health and habits of future generations through the excitement of Orioles Baseball.”

“We’re delighted to join forces with the Orioles to help keep our students fit and remind them of the importance of a healthy lifestyle,” said Karen Rose, the school district’s executive director of middle schools, in the release. “The middle school years are a great time to reinforce these lessons, and this program hits a home run by doing that in fun, interactive ways.”