August is back-to-school month and in the coming days, thousands of youngsters will be returning to classrooms throughout the Los Angeles area.
The start of the academic year also marks the return of the highly acclaimed Ready, Set, Gold! program, which matches dozens of local Olympic and Paralympic athletes with 50 LAUSD public schools to promote health and fitness as long-term goals.
Each athlete will make five visits to their “adopted” school throughout the academic year to serve as positive role models and to educate, inspire and motivate students to adopt an active lifestyle.
“All of our athletes are real life examples of how living a healthy, active, drug-free lifestyle helped them be successful in sport and in life,” said Ready, Set, Gold! Program Director Bernadine Bednarz. “That’s the message we emphasize.”
Now in its 11th year, Ready, Set, Gold! is a program of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games (SCCOG). It is the only program of its kind in the U.S. and is chaired by four-time Olympic gold medal swimmer John Naber.
Ready, Set, Gold! is funded primarily by Samsung and The Foundation for Global Sports Development. The program is endorsed by the Los Angeles City Council, LAUSD and LA 2028, and is offered free of charge to participating schools.