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Press Release

Fifth Anniversary Tour to Feature Personal Appearances by Professional Athletes and Donations of “Fit Equipment Kits” to Select Schools

WOODLAND HILLS, CALIF. (Sept. 2010) – Anthem Blue Cross and the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports have launched the fifth annual Anthem Blue Cross Live Like a Champion Tour, a California-based statewide traveling community outreach campaign that encourages children to become physically active and empowers them to make healthy lifestyle choices now and in the future. The tour features interactive sports-themed activities, and will visit communities through the end of the calendar year.

In celebration of the Live Like a Champion Tour’s fifth anniversary, several professional athletes associated with the tour plan to make personal appearances at select tour events.  These celebrity athletes include legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, boxing champion and health and fitness advocate Laila Ali, World Cup and Olympic soccer champion Julie Foudy, and surfing sensation Bobby Martinez.

Additionally, Anthem Blue Cross and the Governor’s Council will present $5,000 worth of fitness and exercise equipment to select schools across the state that have embraced the tour. The equipment will enable children to remain active long after they are inspired by their tour experience to Live Like a Champion. These schools will be presented with custom “Fit Equipment Kits” that contain exercise equipment that is associated with the sports represented by the Live Like a Champion Tour’s celebrity athletes.

The Live Like a Champion Tour uses interactive games and challenging sports-themed activities to help children bring out their “inner champion.” The 15-week program is traveling to schools, local community and special events, Boys and Girls Clubs and other after-school program locations throughout the state of California, and is dedicated to serving the state’s underserved communities.

According to the 2009 “F as in Fat” report by Trust for America’s Health, nearly one in three children (10-17 years old) in California are either overweight or obese. "Encouraging healthy eating and activity routines can help children stay healthy and focused. Research shows that active and well-nourished children have stronger bones and muscles, higher self-esteem and improved performance at school," said Harvinder Sareen, Ph.D, M.P.H. director of clinical programs, Anthem Blue Cross.

“Anthem Blue Cross is committed to empowering children and their families to make better health choices and to improve their overall well-being and quality of life.  As the state’s largest health coverage provider, Anthem Blue Cross recognizes its responsibility to respond to the growing childhood obesity epidemic, which is why for the last five years, Anthem has been committed to bringing the Live Like a Champion Tour to children throughout the state of California, ” said Pam Kehaly, President of Anthem Blue Cross.

The select group of Governor’s Council celebrity athletes who lend their support to the Live Like a Champion Tour to help raise awareness and promote physical fitness for all Californians include Tony Hawk, Laila Ali, Misty May-Treanor, Jerry Rice, Lisa Leslie, Julie Foudy and Bobby Martinez.  They serve as role models, and their favorite exercises, fruits and vegetables are shared on life-size posters throughout the event site.

“I’m excited that every year, the Live Like a Champion Tour just gets better and better at motivating kids to get off the couch, get active, and eat right,” said Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. “Not everyone can become a world champion athlete, but all our children deserve to grow up healthy, active and fit.  Through the Live Like a Champion Tour, kids across the state get exposed to fun new activities and they learn how important it is to never quit on themselves or their dreams.  Don't Quit!”

Event activities include:
• Olympic-Style Opening Ceremony: Children pledge to put down the remote and get active.
• Tony Hawk’s Shred Like a Champion: Inspired by the most legendary skateboarder of all time, this interactive area challenges children to maintain balance as they learn to control their movements while imitating Tony Hawk’s famous moves on their boards.
• Laila Ali’s Champ Corner: Inspired by world champion athlete Laila Ali, children simulate a champion boxer’s traditional conditioning exercises – running in place, jumping rope, doing chin-ups and tapping a speed bag – and it is all within an exciting partial boxing ring.
• Misty May-Treanor’s Dig. Set. Spike Like a Champion: Inspired by Olympic volleyball champion Misty May-Treanor, children step up to the net and learn how to dig, set, and spike a volleyball as another way to be active and have fun.
• Jerry Rice’s Catch Like a Champion: Inspired by Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice, children make the winning catch in the end zone by diving onto an inflatable mat while hearing messages encouraging 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day.
• Lisa Leslie’s Hoop Like a Champion: Inspired by Olympic basketball champion Lisa Leslie, children shoot to score by attempting different basketball shots with various colored balls representing different healthy foods children should be eating each day (carrots, broccoli, yogurt, milk, tomatoes, etc.)
• Julie Foudy’s Kick Like a Champion: Inspired by World Cup champion Julie Foudy, children shoot multicolored soccer balls representing fruits and vegetables into a soccer goal to learn the importance of a balanced diet.

• Bobby Martinez’s Board Like a Champion: Inspired by champion surfer Bobby Martinez, children ride the waves of one of California’s most popular sports by getting up on a mechanically-operated surfboard, and “Hanging Ten” while testing their balance on this challenging activity.
• Closing Ceremony: Children engage in post-activity stretch exercises and join in an award ceremony, declaring all who participated champions.

About Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California.  Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc.  The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.

About California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
The California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting physical activity for all Californians with an emphasis on children and youth. Governor Schwarzenegger is the Honorary Chairman and Council members include Chairman Jake Steinfeld, Vice Chairman Peter Vidmar, and California sports legends such as Tony Hawk, Misty May-Treanor, Laila Ali and Jerry Rice. Governor’s Council key initiatives include the Governor’s Challenge, the Governor’s Council Spotlight Awards presented by the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation, the Live Like a Champion Tour powered by Anthem Blue Cross and Exercise is Medicine. Founding sponsors are Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. Other sponsors include the Coca-Cola Company, CVS/pharmacy and General Mills. For more information, visit