Media Contact: Sabrina List, 500 Festival
Office: 317.614.6141 ǀ firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, AON, Lids Foundation, PNC Bank enter multi-event sponsorship supporting 500 Festival youth fitness initiatives
INDIANAPOLIS (August 10, 2016) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and celebrating the legacy of the Indianapolis 500, today announced that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, AON, Lids Foundation and PNC Bank have signed on as 500 Festival Youth Fitness Cornerstone Partners. The 500 Festival’s Youth Fitness Cornerstone Partnership supports the 500 Festival’s events and programs that target Indiana youth, helping create a healthier tomorrow. These events and programs help spark interest in walking and running, as well as encourage fitness-related activities among Indiana youth and families.
The numbers are startling:
- In a recent fitness index, Indianapolis finished last among the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas
- 45% of youth in and around Indianapolis are considered to be of an unhealthy weight
- Nearly 16% of youth statewide are considered to be of an unhealthy weight
And yet, Indiana is also home to one of the world’s largest half marathons, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, and the vast majority of the race’s participants are Hoosiers.
“As the producers of one of the world’s largest half marathons and one of the state’s largest health initiatives – the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon – we’ve set our sights on producing an educational program and a similar scale running event specifically for youth in an effort to evolve a culture of running and walking in Indiana,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “The goal of the 500 Festival’s youth fitness programs and events is to ignite interest in running, walking and physical activity. Thanks in part to the support of our Youth Fitness Cornerstone Partners – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, AON, Lids Foundation and PNC Bank as well as the 500 Festival Foundation – we can provide fun opportunities for Hoosiers to get active and change the trajectory of our state’s health and obesity rankings.”
Currently, the 500 Festival Youth Fitness Cornerstone Partners help support:
The 500 Festival KidsFit Program
Launched in 2014, the 500 Festival KidsFit Program is a youth fitness initiative designed to encourage Indiana youth to be more active and pursue a healthy lifestyle. This free program is available to all Indiana classrooms and targets students in grades K – 6. Teachers are provided with the KidsFit curriculum, which meets the Indiana Department of Education’s Indiana State Academic Standards for Health and Physical Education. Program participants complete weekly lessons and run or walk one mile every week. The goal is for students to run 13.1 miles over the course of the program – the equivalent of a half-marathon.
The culmination of the KidsFit Program occurs on the morning of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, where students are invited to Indianapolis to finish their final 3.1 miles in their own wave of the Finish Line 500 Festival 5K, which takes place along the Mini-Marathon course. Students will finish at the same finish line as the 35,000 participants who run the Mini-Marathon each year, complete with grandstands filled with cheering fans and families. Each finisher receives a medal, t-shirt, and pedometer. In 2016, more than 14,000 Indiana students participated in the 500 Festival’s KidsFit Program.
The 500 Festival mini-mini
New in 2016, the 500 Festival mini-mini is the first and only youth run to take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 500 Festival mini-mini is a timed fun run designed specifically for kids, providing Indiana’s youth with an experience similar to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, that’s sized just for them. The inaugural 500 Festival mini-mini will take place on Saturday, September 10, 2016 and is open to children ages 5 – 12.
Kids participating in the mini-mini will experience the larger-than-life fun of a 500 Festival running event – complete with course entertainment, cheering sections, and the coveted mini-mini medal. Five different race distances will be offered, ranging from 0.5 miles to 2.5 miles, allowing participants to select the race that best meets their age and ability. All participants will finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s famed Yard of Bricks. Now through Tuesday, September 6, the registration fee for the inaugural 500 Festival mini-mini is $15. The cost to register on the day of the event is $20. Both fees include a participant t-shirt and finisher’s medal. To register, please visit: indymini.com/p/kidsrunning/minimini.
The first step in getting Indiana youth moving is to provide engaging opportunities for education and activity. The 500 Festival KidsFit Program brings the opportunity to youth – providing the education on how to get active and the structure for physical activity in their own school. The 500 Festival mini-mini provides a fun, accessible activity for kids to come out and participate in a race that’s been designed just for them in an exciting venue, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“We’re ready to change the conversation and shift the direction of our state starting with leveraging our One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon for even greater positive affect in Indiana,” continued Bryant. “Thanks to the support of our Youth Fitness Cornerstone Partners, we’re able to provide the education and motivation for Indiana’s youth to get active and become known as the state that runs!”
As part of their sponsorship, 500 Festival Youth Fitness Cornerstone Partners will have a variety of opportunities to support the 500 Festival’s youth fitness initiatives, including onsite presence at various events and opportunities for employee engagement at relevant events.
The 500 Festival KidsFit Program is supported by the 500 Festival Youth Fitness Cornerstone Partners: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, AON, the Lids Foundation and PNC Bank as well as the 500 Festival Foundation and Meijer. The 500 Festival mini-mini is supported by the 500 Festival Foundation and 500 Festival Youth Fitness Cornerstone Partners: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, AON, the Lids Foundation and PNC Bank. To learn more about the 500 Festival’s Youth Fitness programs and events, visit IndyMini.com.
About the 500 Festival
Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.