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A FIT WEEK FOR A SECOND LOOK

May 26, 1958
May 26, 1958

Table of Contents
May 26, 1958

X-Ray
Acknowledgments
Coming Events
Spectacle
Fitness
Baseball
Boxing
Tennis
  • James Van Alen, president of the National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport and chairman of the time-honored Newport Invitation Tournament, here takes the witness stand and presents his radical ideas on streamlining tennis. Mr. Van Alen's career as a player dates back to his college days at Cambridge, England, where he captained the Oxford-Cambridge team which defeated the combined Yale-Harvard squad of 1924. Even today, at 55, he wields an aggressive and enthusiastic racket

Sporting Look
Motor Sports
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

A FIT WEEK FOR A SECOND LOOK

June 1 to 7 has been set aside to consider fitness. A new Sports Illustrated survey again shows that despite publicity and some progress, leadership is still lacking

BY PROCLAMATION OF THE PRESIDENT

This is an article from the May 26, 1958 issue

The poster at the left, announcing National Youth Fitness Week, will appear next week in every community across the nation. There is a week for practically everything in the American way of life, including doughnuts, but Youth Fitness Week has a special meaning to all Americans. For one thing, it reflects the personal concern felt by President Eisenhower about a vital national problem. The naming of this week is his fourth official act in behalf of fitness since he called a White House lunch three years ago to discuss the implications of the shocking report that American children physically lagged far behind their European contemporaries. The lunch was followed a year later by the first national conference on fitness at Annapolis and the resulting Executive Order creating the President's Council on Fitness and the President's Citizens Advisory Committee on Fitness.

Now, as the first official National Fitness Week is about to begin, it is appropriate to examine our successes and failures in solving the fitness problem during the period since the last SPORTS ILLUSTRATED progress report in August 1957. To find out how we stand today, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED sent a questionnaire to each member of the President's Citizens Advisory Committee, called for reports from its correspondents across the country, consulted surveys by professional organizations and interviewed representatives of the President's fitness groups, physical educators, recreationists, physicians, physiologists, teachers, parents and school children. The results, which provide more material for serious reflection than for congratulation, are presented herewith:

ITEM 1

The President's Council on Youth Fitness can justly claim that its drumbeating has inspired at least some of the national progress noted in this report, but it has provided disappointingly little specific guidance and less leadership toward direct action.

There is no doubt that exposure to earnest speeches by Dr. Shane MacCarthy, executive director of the President's Council on Youth Fitness, has inspired many citizens to go beyond the thinking stage. C. Carson Conrad, coordinator of the vast and fast-growing fitness program in the state of California, acknowledges such inspiration from the council. "Those of us on the state level," he said, "are seeing many things happening because of the assist the President's Council is making at the national level."

But the "assist" continues to be primarily one of vaguely worded publicity and promotion releases for the fitness cause. The report to the President on the West Point fitness conference of last September, for example, appeared four months after the conference with a specific announcement by the council pointing to three pages of suggestions for "implementation." On close inspection the suggestions turned out to be no more than vague proposals: "schedule conferences to formulate plans...conduct surveys and develop programs...educate parents."

Another council release, the Plan for Action, was no improvement. It carried helpful hints such as: "Increased emphasis should be placed on physical activity for boys and girls," and, "The number of sport activities should be increased, where necessary." In the Plan for Action it is stated that "the Council will serve as a clearing house of information from...localities about their programs to improve fitness," but no localities or programs are listed or referred to.

A later release, Physical Evaluation at the Elementary School Age Level, is the result of a meeting of experts in physical education tests and measurements. The text makes it clear that the council does not endorse any one test over any other and that it recommends scoring a child against his own performance rather than against the performance of others. But it is virtually impossible to discover whether the council is in favor of any child being tested under any circumstances, although there is no direct admonition not to use tests, either. One can only conclude that either the council has no advice to give or is wary of doing so for fear of offending some group. Another example of the council's reluctance to step on any toes is its abandonment of a proposal to choose pilot cities for fitness experiments. According to a council spokesman, the idea was discarded because of possible jealousy among cities not chosen for the honor and a disinclination on the part of the council to establish controversial standards.

Indeed the council seemed to lose a considerable amount of its drive last December when Vice-President Nixon quietly relinquished his chairmanship because of the press of other affairs and turned his council duties over to Secretary of the Interior Fred Seaton. The choice had some logical grounds—Seaton's department is in charge of National Parks and Mission 66, the long-range program to improve them for the nation's recreation. But from the start Secretary Seaton has had an attitude toward his new responsibility that was at times downright playful. In an interview about his new job, Seaton maintained that, "In this country you can't make anybody be physically fit." He suggested bird watching as a painless way to fitness, and remarked that the ordinary spectator can get a lot of exercise at a football game simply by having to walk from his car to the stadium and then climb stairs to get to his seat.

ITEM 2

At the state level California continues to lead the nation in imaginative action. A number of other states—notably New York, which has developed a new fitness test—have stepped up their programs.

Among the 48 states California is unique not only for having advanced to the action stage sooner than any other, but also for its multi-pronged, hard-hitting approach and masterful coordination. The California Interscholastic Federation, for instance, is not afraid to tackle the thorny question of how school athletics can contribute to youth fitness. A committee on evaluating physical education programs dares to put these blunt questions to instructors of grades 7 to 9: "Is the number and length of weekly physical education periods equal to those in other major subject fields?" "Does your program make a daily contribution to the development and maintenance of physical fitness?"

Outside the schools, too, Californians have taken imaginative action. The 79 county fairs in the state, for instance, will all include the fitness theme, and the San Diego County Fair will have 72 new events relating to fitness.

California's new fitness test is so sound that the AAHPER (American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation) (see Item 4) for its national test battery included six items from the California test, plus one additional item. The great value of testing in California is that it is one of the few places where comparable testing was done some 25 years ago, so that significant comparisons can be made today. So far, according to Dr. Anna Espenschade, researcher in physical education and chairman of the California Test Committee, results show that "children today cannot throw, jump or run as well as they could 25 years ago." Before the statewide testing project is completed, more than a million boys and girls in grades five through 12 will have participated.

New York also has developed a new test, which shares two items in common with the California test and the national AAHPER test: the pull-up and 50-yard dash. The New York test, since it was developed by the state education department, will have the added advantage of being used uniformly throughout the state, thus permitting accumulation of meaningful new data.

A contribution well worthy of emulation in other states was made by a group of New York State high schools in cooperation with the Southeastern Zone of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation. In an impressive ceremony at West Point, one boy and girl from each of 36 high schools in the southeastern part of the state recently received medals honoring their selection by their physical education teachers as the most physically fit in the senior class. The moving spirit behind these awards is a 5-foot 1-inch fireball named Mrs. Teddy Donoghue, chairman of the New York State AHPER Fitness Council. The help she gets for her project from the U.S. Military Academy is part of the recent effort of West Point's physical education department to cooperate with schools in the pursuit of fitness.

Activities in other states also show imagination in devising new ways to encourage fitness. Colorado will attempt to obtain a paid coordinator to oversee all state fitness projects, to establish minimum physical education requirements, to pass legislation to establish state and community recreation programs, to set up community clinics to educate residents and develop program leaders, to investigate the feasibility of programs for one-or two-block areas (play streets, community-owned pools, teams made up of kids living in the block); and will urge city planning boards to allocate play space in new or redesigned areas and see that schools are designed so that their recreational facilities can be used by the community as well as the schoolchildren.

Utah is conducting statewide demonstrations at fitness festivals, and in Delaware the public school system is working together with the state AHPER in planning a statewide questionnaire survey of all schools to determine the extent of physical fitness programs, spot shortcomings and arrive at specific recommendations for improvement. In the fall every public school pupil in Delaware will be given a fitness test. And in New England governors of several states plan to gather to consider a joint attack on unfitness.

ITEM 3

A few communities are doing an excellent job and, generally, cities and towns such as Flint, Mich, that were doing well last year still are. Too many communities, however, have been content to let state or private organizations assume the burden.

As an example of how effectively a community can work for fitness, Flint deserves special mention. With the help of the Mott Foundation, it operates an ice skating rink attended by 450 people a day, regularly conducts family bicycle "hikes," runs school playgrounds in the summer for ages 5 to 10 which are used by 7,000 kids, sponsors 35 regular square dance clubs and other supervised activities for teen-age clubs, men's clubs and women's clubs. Its experimental program in gymnastics involves 20 schools and well over 1,000 children of elementary and junior high school age and culminates in a Junior Olympics every year (SI, Aug. 26, 1957).

Davenport, Iowa has installed chinning bar sets in every elementary school gym, and Tucson, Ariz. makes parallel bars, mats and trampolin available to eight junior high schools on a rotating basis. On a recent Saturday in San Antonio, Texas military and civilian groups cooperated in a mass fitness testing program of some 3,000 youngsters. The tests contained some of the same items as the national AAHPER test battery—among them the baseball throw, sit-ups and running. The President's Council is considering promoting such daylong tests nationally.

The Chicago Park District, under its energetic new director Vern Hernlund, has embarked on a promising line of action in which parks and school gymnasiums do double duty for the fitness cause. In cooperation with the Board of Education and the Housing Authority, the Park District is arranging to build a park next to every new high school built. Under this arrangement the high school kids can use the park in the daytime for outdoor gym work, and at night youngsters in the park can use the high school gym, swimming pool and locker rooms. Two high schools, Kelly and South Shore, already have such school-park areas. With the cooperation of the Housing Authority the same system has been worked out for housing projects.

Washington, D.C. held a Commissioners' Conference on Youth Fitness which recommended daily physical education classes in the schools. Recreation programs for the summer will stress fitness. Some 4,000 boys in the 9-to-14 bracket of the Walter Johnson Baseball League will start off their season after several days of "spring training" calisthenics.

Sacramento tested 2,714 boys and 2,539 girls using a 30-year-old AAU test which included sit-ups, standing broad jump, soccer dribble, vertical jump and other items. Contrary to the implications of the national AAHPER, the California and the Kraus-Weber tests that the physical performance of American children is poor, the Sacramento test results showed that, using the norm of 30 years ago, the children scored higher in every item except the vertical jump for girls.

The town of Wakefield, Mass. sends a report card in physical education home with every pupil, reflecting a new trend toward use of fitness score cards. In Troy, N.Y. pupils who took the new New York State test (see Item 2) were issued wallet-sized cards indicating their score.

In Dallas every elementary student now has a 30-minute daily physical education program which includes organized fitness training as well as sports and games. All 93 of the Dallas schools additionally make their physical education facilities available for two hours after school Monday through Friday, and during January and February from 9 till noon on Saturdays.

Cities reporting progress as of last August—Philadelphia, Detroit and Omaha—are still doing well by fitness. Philadelphia's recreation department remains superior, and its new playgrounds are fascinating to children, a radical departure from the usual forbidding asphalt slabs.

Omaha tested 4,231 seventh- and eighth-grade students in the public schools last fall and again this spring, using a modified version of the Oregon motor fitness test. In the fall 74.5% passed. When the same group was retested in the spring 90.5% passed—apparently as a result of cutting the interschool softball program and emphasizing track and field events and intramural programs.

ITEM 4

Some professional health and physical education groups have progressed from unproductive debate to constructive action. One in particular, the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, made history with the first national fitness testing program.

For the first time in America a test of physical performance is being given under uniform conditions to a scientifically selected cross section of the total U.S. school population from the ages of 10 to 17. Already well under way (5,200 children of a planned 8,000 have been tested so far), this is a project of the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, the organization which until a few months ago seemed permanently immobilized in aimless argument over the proper definition of fitness (SI, Aug. 5). Findings to date, according to Dr. Paul A. Hunsicker, director of the testing project, and professor of physical education at the University of Michigan, support the thesis that the physical performance of American children leaves much to be desired. Other conclusions of the test so far, says Dr. Hunsicker, are that the girls, on the average, do not improve their performance with age, while the boys generally do (see graphs above). But the range of the scores from poorest to best (not the averages as shown in the charts) shows that there are some girls who score well above boys. This would mean, Dr. Hunsicker believes, that the differences in averages between the boys and girls are due to cultural concepts rather than any differences in ability between the sexes. The performance of girls does not improve with age because the majority of women physical educators are encased in the concept of female fragility, and consequently most programs for girls are very weak.

Each of the 150 schools in the 28 states where children were tested were asked to fill out a questionnaire. The replies reveal some significant and disturbing facts: while almost all of the schools require a medical exam for youngsters participating in inter-scholastic athletics, only 40% give medicals to every child in school; only 1% of the schools had pools and a swimming program; roughly 33% of the schools did not require sneakers or gym clothes for physical education; only 75% of the schools had any kind of physical education requirement, ranging from one year to the entire time in school and from one day a week to five; of the schools that did have a program, only 75% had a special teacher for physical education classes; there was little difference in the physical performance of city, suburban and rural children.

The test battery included six items from the California test—pull-ups for boys, modified pull-ups for girls (again the soft program for girls), sit-ups, shuttle run, standing broad jump, the 50-yard dash and a soft-ball throw for distance—plus one other, a 600-yard run-or-walk. The toughest item on the boys' program was the pull-up. More shocking than the low average score on the pull-up was the fact that people administering the test had a hard time even finding a bar to use for pull-ups in many of the gyms, because all such equipment had been discarded in an anti-apparatus wave that has swept over many physical education programs in the recent past.

The new national test was developed by the AAHPER Research Council, which is headed by Dr. Hunsicker. The test has been criticized for not including a specific flexibility item, such as, for instance, touching toes. Dr. Hunsicker agrees that the test is undoubtedly imperfect but says bluntly: "We've been hung on a hook too long, fighting over items. We've worried about a seedling while the forest is on fire."

To direct the testing, energetic Dr. Hunsicker has traveled some 35,000 miles while on leave from the University of Michigan. The data are still being analyzed in Dr. Hunsicker's office, but he expects to complete his analysis in time for fall publication by the AAHPER of a manual for schools which will describe the tests and give national achievement standards. "Physical education will only do the job," says Dr. Hunsicker, "when it is based on scientific fact."

The AAHPER also has plans to draw up a blueprint of research needed in health, physical education and recreation, with recommendations as to which projects should receive priority. It has also started publishing a series of fitness pamphlets: a bibliography of fitness references and a bibliography of publications about facilities and supplies.

ITEM 5

Business and industry have discovered that fitness is good business and are launching elaborate campaigns to make both parents and children among their customers fitness-conscious.

General Mills, already famous for its use of sports and sports personalities in its merchandising, has created the most ambitious national program to date: the Wheaties Sports Federation.

Its plan, in general, is to encourage participation in sports, exercise and active recreation by sponsoring a system of incentive awards and mass fitness testing at the local level. This program of enlightened self-interest will be accomplished with the help of the 3,500 local chapters of the National Junior Chamber of Commerce (see Item 7). Starting next month, each box of Wheaties sold will display the fitness test and slide rule for measuring fitness standards in cutout form. Wheaties is also sponsoring coaches' All-America teams in 14 sports, Hole-In-One awards for golf, and 300 Game awards in bowling. Recognition will also be given for outstanding leadership in promoting fitness at the local level. Olympic Pole Vault Champion Bob Richards has been named the federation's director, and in this capacity has already been on the road for three months making almost daily speeches.

Insurance companies are also laying plans to operate in the fitness field. Mutual of Omaha is considering enclosing information about the fitness campaign when it mails out notices to its 5 million policyholders. Other companies plan to contribute their physical facilities for sports and recreation use by the community. In California, 15 corporations, most of them oil companies, have banded together to form the California Sports Foundation. Its primary purpose is to finance a network of clinics and demonstrations throughout the state, a program which promises a speedy and decisive boost for fitness in an already very active state (see Item 2).

ITEM 6

The medical profession, through individual doctors and the American Medical Association, is increasingly recognizing physical activity as good preventive medicine and is offering concrete ideas for enhancing fitness.

Voices of individual physicians are swelling the chorus in favor of exercise as good medicine, a view long held by such outstanding medical authorities as Dr. Paul Dudley White, President Eisenhower's heart specialist. At a recent conference on growth and aging, Dr. Kaare Rodahl, director of clinical research of the Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia, reported that "in this country, people just don't use their feet." He recommended "hiking, running, jumping, tennis and walking to school" for children, "golf, skiing and swimming" for adults. Dr. Wilhelm Raab of the University of Vermont College of Medicine urged in the Maine Medical Association Journal that "very much more emphasis be placed on rigidly disciplined physical training (in the schools)." Dr. Herbert Pollack of New York City and his associates reported that the difference between staying slim and gaining weight could hinge on walking instead of driving, standing up instead of sitting down. Dr. Robert H. Barnes of the University of Washington School of Medicine echoed the same idea: "Modern civilization makes it difficult for the overweight patient to do regular exercising such as walking." Dr. William B. Walsh, a Washington, D.C. physician serving on the President's Citizens Advisory Committee on Fitness, observed that today's schools are being built without stairs for the benefit of the aging teacher and that "meanwhile Junior, who ought to be climbing stairs, isn't getting this highly necessary exercise."

The American Medical Association, which in the past year, has expressed itself on the medical aspects of fitness more forcefully than ever before, published an editorial in its Journal which stated: "Medicine does not discourage activity, sports, competition or even a reasonable risk of injury. Medicine recognizes that a fractured ankle may leave less of a scar than a personality frustrated by reasons of parental timidity over participation in contact sports.... All life is a risk and without courage life is not worth living."

In April the AMA through its Journal issued a joint statement with the AAHPER on exercise and fitness, which said in part: "Exercise is one of the important factors contributing to total fitness. Active games, sports, swimming, rhythmic activities, prescribed exercises...all can make distinctive as well as worthwhile general contributions to fitness."

The Report of the Sixth National Conference on Physicians and Schools, published and distributed by the AMA, is a frank and forceful document on the role medicine can play in cooperation with physical education. It makes many concrete recommendations, among which are the following: The physician and educator should jointly encourage physical development, physical education and sports competition activities.... Wherever possible, medical students, interns and fellows whose specialties concern children should be given the chance to function in a school health program.... Fitness can be dramatized in a community in a variety of ways ranging from fitness films to demonstrations at PTA meetings, county fairs and fitness sermons in church on a Fitness Sunday. One group at the conference passed a resolution demanding a well-planned and properly conducted physical education program for children at each grade level throughout their school career.

ITEM 7

Civic organizations have begun to adopt physical fitness as a worthy cause and are playing a more active role. The Junior Chamber of Commerce, in particular, has launched a nationwide campaign at the local level.

Though it never thought of itself as such, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, through its annual national championships in golf, tennis and other sports, has been in the fitness business for years. Last year for the first time the Jaycees co-sponsored with SPORTS ILLUSTRATED a National Fitness Week, with prizes awarded at West Point by Vice-President Nixon to the Jaycee chapter which did the most for fitness during a seven-day period. This year the two sponsors will repeat the contest during the week of July 7-12.

In addition to these fitness activities each chapter this month will receive two new kits, "Testing Your Community's Youth" and "Facilities and Programming Guide," which signal the new national fitness campaign jointly undertaken by the Jaycees and the Wheaties Sports Federation (see Item 5). In each Jaycee community the fitness test developed by Wheaties will be given to boys and girls by members of the local Jaycee chapter. Each child who participates in the test will receive a certificate and a slide rule which shows standards for each test item according to age and sex.

The second kit, concerning facilities and programming, is full of the practical down-to-earth hints so urgently needed in communities: how to lay out a tennis court and a baseball diamond, game area dimensions, how many of what facilities are needed for what population figure, what kind of recreation is needed by the individual in relation to his job, how to plan for Little League.

ITEM 8

Dramatic visualization through mass media (i.e., magazines, newspapers, TV), has in the past year brought the cause of fitness right into the American home.

For 41 weeks, since last August, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has regularly published a progressive series of simple exercises created by Bonnie Prudden. Since the start of this series, Miss Prudden's success has grown to the point where people bending and stretching in her name number in the hundreds of thousands. Her 25¢ fitness kit, containing a phonograph record with a few simple exercises and a before-and-after scoring chart for the Kraus-Weber test, has been requested by more than 150,000 converts to the fitness cause. When she asked kit owners to detach their family Kraus-Weber scores and send them to her, 48% of them (at last count) complied. The result was a rough national fitness poll that showed the average percent of failure as a family was 46.4%, a score about 20% better than that of the American children cited in the original Kraus-Prudden Report That Shocked the President (SI, Aug. 15, 1955). But it also showed an alarming decline in a certain group: among 6-year-olds there was 82% failure in the Kraus-Weber test today as against 54% five years ago. Miss Prudden attributes most of this physical deterioration to excessive television watching.

Nevertheless, television is entitled to considerable credit for Bonnie's mushrooming success in the past year. Every Thursday for the past 40 weeks her effortlessly performed exercises have been seen on Dave Garroway's TV show Today. Arthur Godfrey has followed suit on his radio and television shows for the past 18 weeks, and he has often urged his listeners to send for Bonnie's fitness kit. Godfrey's office reports that during the first two weeks of his exercising his fan mail increased 10% and the rating of his show rose.

Finally, Bonnie also appeared in a series of six fitness television shows which SPORTS ILLUSTRATED produced on WBKB in Chicago.

Bonnie's future plans are to conduct a fitness workshop from June 23 to July 3, at Springfield College where she will receive an honorary master's degree next month. She will train both professional fitness teachers and classroom teachers at the elementary, high school and college levels.

ITEM 9

Sputnik has had an ironic but probably salutary effect on the cause of fitness. When the U.S.S.R. went into orbit last October, there was an immediate popular outcry in the U.S. demanding thorough reexamination of the nation's educational policies. Physical educators found themselves forced to re-examine and justify their own curriculum.

Since sputnik, there have been attacks on physical education and athletics as a waste of time and money that could be better spent on science. For example, Colorado State Senator James W. Mowbray recently charged that instead of spending money for classroom construction, college and university heads were spending millions "on such projects as gymnasiums, field houses, football fields...and frills." A recent Gallup poll asked principals in 1,100 high schools whether they thought too much attention was given to athletics today in American high schools. Sixty-one percent answered yes. John Keats, in his recent book Schools Without Scholars, protests against money being spent on school swimming pools and interscholastic football teams.

The irony of such extreme views was pointed out by Dr. Charles A. Bucher, New York University education professor, in a recent speech before a New York State Fitness Conference. He noted these attacks on physical education and reminded his listeners that it scarcely helps the over-all cause to promote science in the schools at the expense of a subject to which the Soviets give more time than we do.

At the annual meeting of the AAHPER, physical educators from many parts of the country told of being challenged to defend their departments and jobs. Dr. Harold Alterowitz, chairman of the department of health and physical education at Eastern Montana College, spoke for many when he said, "I spent three very unpleasant months trying to keep our curriculum committee from dropping physical education. I warn you all to be ready to do the same thing."

CONCLUSIONS

There is heartening evidence that progress is being made toward fitness. Business is making its contribution, the doctors are bringing the medical benefits of fitness to the public's attention, professional organizations are providing national standards, civic organizations are making tests and conducting sports programs and individual cities and states are beginning to stir themselves.

As noted in Item 1 of this survey, the council has released a pamphlet entitled Plan for Action, but in the light of dictionary definitions these words, used so freely in this and other council statements, would seem to have lost their meaning in the council's usage. Unless the council does provide, and soon, a plan for action in the accepted sense of the word, it will have lost the chance to exploit the enthusiasm it has inspired. The loss would be a tragic one, for the problem of fitness is as urgent as ever—as both public desire and private initiative have demonstrated in the past year.

THE COMMITTEE ANSWERS SOME QUESTIONS

Next to the President's Council, the people most immediately concerned with the continuing fitness problem were the 119 members of the President's Citizens Advisory Committee—a committee chosen from the fields of business, physical education, recreation, child care and journalism. To get their views, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED mailed a questionnaire to each of the committee's members asking for their opinion on the progress of fitness. Forty-seven replied from 17 states, the District of Columbia and Hawaii.

Some of the questions invited simple answers. Members were asked, for example, to classify the influence the President's Council and the committee had exerted for fitness. Nine said it had been extensive, 21 moderate, nine slight, but no one said, "none." Twenty-seven said this influence had led to formation of local committees, and 18 credited it with instigating community fitness projects. Nineteen felt that council and committee influence were responsible for improving physical education in their local schools.

Three questions evoked detailed replies. These questions, with a balanced sampling of comment, follow.

The question:

AS A MEMBER OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE, HAVE YOU BEEN APPROACHED BY ANY PERSON OR GROUP IN BEHALF OF FITNESS?

The answers:

•If I wanted to go out and talk on this, I could be away just about every night.

•The approach was directed to me personally, not as a committee member.

•Approached 68 times: results satisfactory, I trust.

•I have been approached scores of times. The interest in the topic is real.

The question:

HAS ANY LOCAL PROGRESS TAKEN PLACE WITHIN THE LAST SIX MONTHS?

The answers:

•Our high school has hired a full-time physical education staff member instead of having an athletic coach devote only part time to physical education.

•Until the recent upheaval with the launching of sputnik, I believe there was some real progress. Now I'm not so sure.

•I see more children walking to schools. This is encouraging but not enough.

•Physical education has been added to the program in several elementary schools.

•In our program for boys we have incorporated a special body-building course for the "contentedly unfit."

•Progress has been largely in the renewed enthusiasm of professional groups in the field.

The question:

WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR IMPROVING FITNESS EITHER THROUGH THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE OR ON THE LOCAL LEVEL?

The answers:

•Parents should be more involved.

•There exists little grass-roots support.

•The most difficult problem is to get all of this out of the committee stage and into concrete action. Fitness is hard to sell, just as are polio shots, brotherhood and disarmament. To translate a council and local committees into action, that's the trick. People don't worry about their hearts until they have an attack.

•Continue to support the council and the committee and commend the good work Shane MacCarthy is doing.

•We need more hiking and cycling paths, camping opportunities.

•The only way a fitness program will ever work is if it is put through the schools and subsidized by the Federal Government.

•Even if it is necessary to add an extra hour to the school day, each boy and girl should be made conscious of the necessity of fitness and should be marked in physical education on report cards just as for reading, writing and arithmetic.

•We need more specific aids, such as, "How to Organize a Community Fitness Project," "Suggested Activities for a Local Fitness Council," etc.

•People need a program and leadership. It is useless to ask for more facilities when existing ones are not being used through lack of leadership.

•The committee should determine what programs have value, what tests to use, ways of using present facilities and make this material available to all.

•The movement should be protected against exploitation by unqualified persons seeking to ride to profit on the coattails of the President's Council.

•The program should be transferred from the office of the President to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and its Secretary made chairman of the President's Council.

•Create a private foundation with private endowment and direction.

•The big problem is motivation. The answer is physical education in all the elementary schools for all the children.

•The program of awakening the public's interest has been successful; now telling blows must be struck at the local and area levels.

•Less dramatics, window dressing and emotions, more emphasis on fundamentals of research, health, nutrition and assistance to already organized programs.

•There is no definitive program for the Advisory Committee. If we had something we could take to a community and say, "We suggest you follow this program," better results could be obtained than just stimulating interest through conversation.

•Abandon the program or give it a direct powerful leader and plan. It has died with bureaucratic double talk and lack of action.

•The committee is severely handicapped because of no funds for use of advertising media.

•The committee should take a firm stand and exert leadership rather than follow the old school approach of total fitness.

FOUR CHARTSHOW CHILDREN SCORED IN AAHPER TEST
AVERAGE SCORES in four of seven test items show varying performance of 5,200 boys and girls in 10 to 17 age group. Vertical line in broad jump chart represents distance, in dash and run-walk time in seconds, and in sit-ups the number completed.
STANDING BROAD JUMP
(N-5200)
BOYS [BLACK LINE]
GIRLS [RED LINE]
50 YARD DASH
(N-5200)
BOYS [BLACK LINE]
GIRLS [RED LINE]
600 YARD RUN-WALK
(N-5200)
BOYS [BLACK LINE]
GIRLS [RED LINE]
SIT-UPS
(N-5200)
BOYS [BLACK LINE]
GIRLS [RED LINE]
PHOTOONE GIRL PERFORMS WHILE THREE ASSIST IN MODIFIED PULL-UP TEST IN OMAHAPHOTOAAHPER TEST HEAD, Paul Hunsicker, made history in first national test.PHOTOGENERAL MILLS HEAD, Charles Bell, created Wheaties Sports Federation.PHOTODAVE GARROWAY made Bonnie Prudden a TV star on his NBC show.PHOTOARTHUR GODFREY did Prudden exercises with his audience on CBS show.ILLUSTRATION