The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation supports families at a time when their physical and mental health is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
LADF and UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind distributed home fitness kits to all 500 children at the KIPP Academy of Innovation in east Los Angeles in early February. On February 16, LADF will also open a number of live virtual fitness clinics with EXOS UCLA Health Sports Performance for children ages 5-18.
“UCLA Health continues to be a key partner in our COVID-19 response and an authority on the current needs of our communities,” said Nichol Whiteman, CEO of LADF. “While we wish we didn’t in 2021, we know our families need ongoing support to get along and stay home safe. Physical fitness and mental wellbeing go hand in hand, and we are making the investments and partnerships necessary to make these resources available. “
Efforts to address health inequalities are backed up by a LADF-supported research study led by Dr. Rebecca Dudovitz, who is focused on defining best practices for physical education through distance learning. The LADF initially granted Sound Body Sound Mind a grant of USD 25,000 to support sports and fitness studios in schools. However, due to need, programs revolved around providing home sports kits to assist students during distance learning.
The kits include a reusable bag, water bottle, frisbee, skipping rope, wiffel ball, yoga mat, rubber play ball, resistance band, mask, hand sanitizer, and cones. Also included are educational materials, SBSM’s nutritional curriculum, four-week home training, and parenting health tips (available in both English and Spanish). SBSM will also work closely with the KIPP Academy of Innovation PE teacher to support the use of the kits through physical education classes.
“Staying healthy over the past year has been an incredible challenge for our students, but our KIPPfit team has continued to develop innovative strategies to keep our children mentally and physically healthy,” said Melissa Ulloa, principal of the KIPP Academy of Innovation . “We are very grateful to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind for their generous donation. The Fit Kits allow our students to access even more creative workouts and give them the opportunity to remain optimistic about the ongoing challenges. “
The Live Virtual Clinics, starting next week, are a series of 10 live workouts for Los Angeles teens and Dodger RBI participants ages 5-18. The workouts teach children interactive exercises that encourage them to develop a healthy lifestyle. They will be guided through a 45 minute clinic with warm up and circuit training as they will be encouraged to stay home, stay healthy, and stay active.
“As we approach a full year of distance learning, the need for fitness at home has never been greater,” said Matt Flesock, general manager of UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind. “The COVID-19 pandemic has not changed the fact that students have to exercise. The benefits of active activity are enormous – from increased academic performance and focus to less stress and anxiety. “