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Gallaudet University baseball coach Curtis Pride appointed to the President's Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

Gallaudet University baseball coach Curtis Pride appointed to the President's Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius swore in Gallaudet University baseball coach Curtis Pride and 10 other members of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition on Wednesday at the W Hotel in the nation's capital. The swearing-in ceremony was followed by a visit to the Bell Multicultural High School in Northwest where First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the 2010 Council co-chairs, members and discussed the expanded mission of the Council. The First Lady then participated in a series of activity stations with children and the present Council Members.

In conjunction with the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative, this year President Obama has broadened the scope of the Council, formerly known as the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, to include a focus on healthy eating as well as active lifestyles. On Tuesday, June 22, the President signed an Executive Order outlining the Council's new emphasis on both good nutrition and physical fitness.

"This year we're expanding the work of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition to include not just a focus on active lifestyles, but on healthy eating, too," Mrs. Obama said. "The Council will play an important role in our effort to help combat childhood obesity in this country and I am grateful to the athletes, chefs, doctors and nutrition experts who are volunteering their time on the Council to help make a difference."

President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition group picture The President has named Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, and Dominique Dawes, three-time Olympian and former U.S. national champion in women's gymnastics, 2010 Council Co-Chairs. Dawes delivered remarks at the event and Brees recorded a video message that was shown at the high school. Joining Dawes at the event were 2010 Council Members Dan Barber, Tedy Bruschi, Carl Edwards, Allyson Felix, Michelle Kwan, Cornell McClellan, Dr. Stephen McDonough, Pride, Donna Richardson Joyner, Dr. Ian Smith and Council Executive Director, Shellie Pfohl, was also in attendance.

"It is truly an honor to be appointed to serve on the President's Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. I am extremely excited about working with the other esteemed council members to support the President and First Lady’s initiative to promote a healthier lifestyle for children and adults throughout the country," Pride said.

Pride just completed his second season at the helm of the Gallaudet baseball program. The Bison posted a 4-34 record this past season but ended one of the longest conference losing streaks in the nation as GU won its first Capital Athletic Conference First Lady Michelle Obama gives a speech game in 13 years with a 5-3 victory over Stevenson University on April 1. Coach Pride played for six Major League Baseball teams during his career including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers, Montreal Expos and Atlanta Braves. Pride, who has been profoundly deaf from birth, batted .250 and hit 20 home runs and knocked in 82 RBIs in 421 major-league games. Pride is the only Council Member from a NCAA program and he is the only active coach among the group.

"In the past being healthy wasn't that hard. Today, we have so many distractions. Video games and computers are keeping our kids inside. We are trying to change that now," said Mrs. Obama.

The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition is a committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about opportunities to develop accessible, affordable and sustainable physical activity, fitness, sports and nutrition programs for all Americans regardless of age, background or ability. The Council's mission is to engage, educate and empower all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition. For more information about the Council and its members, visit www.fitness.gov.

In addition to its presidential advisory role, the Council promotes and maintains the President's Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness Awards program (President's Challenge) which encourages all Americans to include physical activity – 30 minutes per day for adults and 60 minutes per day for youth – in their daily lives. For more information about the President's Challenge programs, visit www.presidentschallenge.org.

2010 President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

(A brief bio on each Council Member is below)

  • Drew Brees is the 2009 Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. During Mr. Brees’s nine year career, he has been elected to four Pro Bowls, named the 2004 Comeback player of the Year, a member of the 2006 All-Pro Team, the 2006 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, the 2008 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP.

  • Dominique Dawes is an Olympic gymnast who competed in three Olympic Games and has a permanent place in the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame. She was a member of the gold-medal-winning team at the 1996 Atlanta Games, where she also won a bronze medal in the floor exercise, becoming the first female African-American gymnast to win an individual medal.
  • Dan Barber is a New York-based chef and co-owner of Blue Hill restaurant where he features locally and sustainably grown foods.
  • Tedy Bruschi is a former football player who spent 13 years playing for the NFL’s New England Patriots, claiming three Super Bowl rings.
  • Carl Edwards is a championship NASCAR driver and currently in the top ten in the overall standings for both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series.
  • Allyson Felix is an accomplished Olympic gold medal track and field sprint athlete who helped the U.S. women’s 4x400 meter relay team secure victory in the Beijing 2008 games.
  • Grant Hill is a professional basketball player with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
  • Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles tennis titles, including a record 20 titles at Wimbledon.
  • Michelle Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history. She has won five world championships, nine U.S. national championships and silver and bronze Olympic medals.
  • Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey is the President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropic organization devoted to improving health and health care.
  • Cornell McClellan, the owner of Naturally Fit, Inc., is the fitness consultant and personal trainer for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • Dr. Stephen McDonough has worked for 30 years as a pediatrician in North Dakota.
  • Chris Paul is a professional basketball player and team captain for the National Basketball Association’s New Orleans Hornets.
  • Curtis Pride is the head baseball coach at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, and a retired Major League Baseball player. In 1996 as a member of the Detroit Tigers, Mr. Pride became the first regular full-season deaf player in the modern history of major league baseball.
  • Donna Richardson Joyner is a fitness instructor who has spent more than 20 years working to educate, empower, and energize children, women, and families about living healthy lifestyles.
  • Ian Smith is a prominent healthy-living advocate. He is best known for his promotion of the 50 Million Pound Challenge and his contributions to TV and radio programs.

Also see:

Pictures from the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition event (June 23)

Photos by Sam Atkinson, Gallaudet Sports Information

Coach Pride with Michelle Kwan
Coach Pride with Michelle Kwan

Coach Pride with Tedy Bruschi
Coach Pride with Tedy Bruschi

Coach Pride performs juggling activity with kids
Coach Pride and Michelle Kwan run the scarf juggling physical fitness activity

Coach Pride with Carl Edwards
Coach Pride with Carl Edwards

Council Executive Director Shellie Pfohl speaks to the new Council Members
Council Executive Director Shellie Pfohl speaks to the audience