Olympic high jumper Dwight Stones visited South Gate High this week to congratulate students who achieved high marks on their FitnessGram test. Dwight is one of 50 Olympians participating in the Ready, Set, Gold! program. He has been going to SGH regularly for the past six years, motivating students to stay physically active
We brought together participating school personnel and our wonderful Olympians and Paralympians this week. During two separate sessions, we shared best practices and previewed an exciting year ahead through our first-ever RSG! Universities.
Tuesday’s RSG! University was held in the beautiful meeting space of the LA84 Foundation, which has been a site for many previous orientations. The Thursday RSG! University date was held at LAUSD District Northwest in Lake Balboa, part of the San Fernando Valley.
Our very well-attended meetings included a fascinating talk on future Olympic and Paralympic possibilities for the city of Los Angeles; speakers, videos, and workshops; and a fun raffle. Thanks to all who attended!
Rosalyn Bryant Clark, a silver medalist from the Montreal Olympics in 1976, has been a part of Ready, Set, Gold! from the program’s very beginning.
For much of our history, she’s been part of a productive partnership with Trinity Avenue Elementary School south of Downtown Los Angeles. At Trinity, Rosalyn and partner Herbert Guevara work with elementary school students on everyday fitness habits.
Rosalyn’s a wonderful trainer, and we weren’t surprised to find out that her daughter Breanna was getting help from her mother as she got ready to compete on the track! Breanna, who graduated several years ago from RSG! partner school Susan Miller Dorsey High, has autism.
She’s also an impressive runner and the owner of an incredible work ethic! Team USA asked Breanna to represent the United States as a track & field athlete this summer at the 2016 Paralympic Games, following in her mother’s footsteps.
With her proud parents looking on, Breanna won her first gold medal in Rio for the women’s 400m—one of the first American Paralympians to medal this year!
Watch Breanna’s ceremony here (courtesy of the TeamUSA YouTube channel) and join us in congratulating her champion family!
Paralympian Katy Sullivan, who’s traveled across Los Angeles in our program, is on her next big adventure: Brazil’s Paralympics in September 2016!
Katy, who was last an Olympic competitor in 2012, is at the heart of NBC’s Track & Field coverage during Rio de Janeiro competition throughout these next few days! She was officially announced as an NBC analyst earlier in the summer:
NBC is the official Olympic broadcaster, and we’re so glad they picked an expert to help them cover some of the world’s top Paralympic athletes! Like millions of other Americans, we’ll be watching Katy in Rio.
Out of our outstanding Olympians and Paralympians, perhaps no one spent as many hours on the playground of one school this year as all-around champion Chris Duplanty. Since his years playing water polo for Team USA, including three Olympics (1988, 1992, and 1996, winning Silver in ’88), Chris has learned more than almost anyone about the inspirational nature of coaching others to greatness. At Harbor City Elementary School in the southern part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, he certainly has those skills shining through.
Chris made numerous visits to Harbor City over the fall, winter, and spring and concluded with what he calls “the exchange of autographs”! Namely, each of the young champions who worked with him in our program is asked to sign this very special ball. In return, they get an autograph from an Olympic medalist, if they’d like. The net effect, Chris said, is that everyone involved knows they have something valuable that only they can contribute!
“It is so special to be able to play a small part in making a difference in kids’ lives,” Chris writes. Thank you for another great year!
Program Manager Daniel Hom spends time out of the office, including every Saturday, alongside nurses and doctors as a volunteer at the Downey-based Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. Operated by the County of Los Angeles, Rancho Los Amigos is the only one of its hospitals without a focus on emergency services, and is known for several treatments that athletes commonly use following accidents and paralysis. This month, Rancho and the office of Supervisor Don Knabe of the County’s Fourth District issued a recognition to our team member for his commitment to the medical facility’s patients.
Co-Founder of Ready, Set, Gold! and President of the LA Sports Council David Simon was honored on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 by The International Visitors Council of Los Angeles as their Outstanding Citizen Diplomat.
David Simon accepts his recognition with Lourdes Saab, Deputy Chief of Protocol, Los Angeles County Office of Protocol.
Mark Crear, one of the incredible Olympic hurdlers who’s been a stalwart member of our program for years, spent the past week abroad. Working with Haitians, he’s spreading the message of the Olympics far and wide: sports touches all humanity.
Congratulations to our Ready, Set, Gold! students at almost 60 participating elementary, middle, and high schools, who have officially finished implementation of the 2016 FitnessGram™!
In California, the multi-component FitnessGram test is required for public school students beginning in grade 5. Urged on by great P.E. instructors, kids must attempt their the test until they achieve passing scores in multiple areas corresponding to fitness and health. We’re proud to note that schools working with RSG! do better on annual FitnessGram returns than those in our district that don’t.
A special spotlight should go the Eastside students of Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School, who have become RSG! beneficiaries thanks to Jackie Rios. Right before the Spring Recess, Jackie treated her classes to the third of five visits from Paul Gonzales, a Boyle Heights-raised Olympic boxer who was the first Mexican-American to win a gold medal (1984).
It was thanks to Paul’s presence in the gymnasium and his motivating words, Ms. Rios says, that her students ended FitnessGram season on such a strong note! When it came time for Paul and the Mendez athletes to participate in the FitnessGram Pacer Test, which measures aerobic capacity by timing movement between points that are 20 meters apart, Ms. Rios saw several Mendez records broken! Again, she said it happened because of hometown hero Paul, whose RSG! work was recently profiled in Hoy Deportes.
We’ll let you know more about the impact Olympians like Paul have on young Angelenos when statewide Fitnessgram results come back in a few months.
The Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD) has announced the recipients of their 2015 Athletes in Excellence Award. This year, 12 athletes were chosen to receive the prestigious award designed to honor competing and retired athletes who have been role models, leaders and champions not just in sports, but in their communities by selflessly giving back through mentorship and outreach activities.
The Athletes in Excellence Awardees will be presented with a certificate recognizing their achievement and an unrestricted grant in the amount of $10,000.
Katy Sullivan, a Paralympian in track and field, is a powerful role model for young people with impairments. As an athlete and prominent member of the Paralympic movement, she is a consistent advocate for inclusive sport. Katy was nominated by Ready, Set, Gold! and works with our partners at Bellingham Elementary, Julie Korenstein Elementary and Kingsley Elementary.
Rey Brown, an Olympian in track and field, was nominated for GSD staff members. He currently works with an LAUSD classroom at Theodore Roosevelt High School and with View Park Preparatory Accelerated Charter High School.
RSG! salutes both of these incredible athletes and their contributions to the values we hold dear.