RRCA Executive Director to Speak at 2015 National Physical Activity Plan Congress

February 9th, 2015

Leading national running organization also a congress presenting sponsor for Washington, DC gathering

The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance will hold its 2015 Congress on February 23-24 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. The congress will include recognition of National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) outcomes to-date and discussions that will help influence the next evolution of the plan.

Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Executive Director Jean Knaack will speak on a panel at the NPAP Congress about the Role of Nonprofit Organization in Promoting Physical Activity. A wide range of non-profit organizations are contributing to the nationwide effort to increase population-level physical activity. This session highlights the innovative contributions of three organizations that have launched major initiatives aimed at promoting physical activity in key segments of the U.S. population.

“Although we have made some health and fitness gains in this country over the past couple of years, there is still much work to do,” said Jean Knaack, RRCA Executive Director. “This congress will further develop the fight against obesity as well as promote physical activity for all via the National Physical Activity Plan.”

Knaack joins a full schedule of expert speakers at the congress that includes Shellie PfolExecutive Director, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, and Lawrence A. Soler, President and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), to name a few speakers. A variety of important, educational topics that will be covered during the event.

In addition, Knaack served on the coordinating committee that developed the first National Physical Activity Plan for the United States and currently serves on the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance Board. As a long-time supporter of the NPAP efforts, the RRCA is a presenting sponsor of the congress as well.

After just four years, the NPAP is having a positive impact around the nation. For the first time, individuals and organizations will be recognized at the congress for their exceptional efforts in implementing the NPAP and setting a standard for achievement. The new Champions Awards shine a national spotlight on those who have made a significant commitment to adopting plan strategies and have shown progress toward improving physical activity for their target audience. The RRCA’s Knaack led the effort to develop the Champions Awards program and chaired the selection process on behalf of the NPAP Alliance Board of Directors.

Congratulations to the organizations being recognized as Champions at the upcoming NPAP Congress:

Space to Grow Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands (Chicago, IL)

Space to Grow is an innovative program forged by a group of partners to transform Chicago’s underused and outdated schoolyards into vibrant outdoor spaces that benefit students, communities and the environment. Public agency partners such as Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, City of Chicago Department of Water Management and Chicago Public Schools provide capital funding for schoolyard improvements. In its pilot year, Space to Grow renovated four schoolyards to create opportunities for entire communities to learn, grow and play outdoors, and to support the Chicago Public Schools’ efforts to promote health and wellness and reinstate recess and daily physical education.

Get Fit Kauai (Kauai County, HI)

Get Fit Kauai is the Nutrition and Physical Activity Coalition of Kauai County. Since establishing its Built Environment and Safe Routes to School Task Forces, Get Fit Kauai has made tremendous strides in promoting physical activity through policy change, programs and projects. The coalition has led successful advocacy efforts for three major policy changes, including a county Complete Streets resolution (2010), a statewide Safe Routes to School Bill that allocates funding from speeding traffic violations to counties for Safe Routes to School efforts (2012) and a county ordinance change to the subdivision code that requires sidewalks and shorter block lengths (2013). The coalition organized monthly Walk to School Days, with a total of 2,730 children and 743 adults across five schools participating last year. 

Seguin ISD Student Health Advisory Council (Seguin, TX)

The organization was initially designed after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coordinated School Health model with a primary emphasis on promoting physical activity to students, faculty/staff and the community. The model now primarily focuses on utilizing and implementing strategies and tactics within the education sector of the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) and has achieved a number of outcomes, including: Campus walking trails for nine schools constructed with improved connectivity/assess to city parks, improved FITNESSGRAM scores, named best District Student Health Advisory Council in Texas and a bond election that resulted in $88.3 million of funding for new school and community improvements based on SHAC recommendations.

For a complete list of speakers for the 2015 NPAP Congress, go to: http://npapcongress2015.org/wordpress1/program/speakers/ 


Monday, February 23 – Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC 


For media inquiries and interview requests, contact: Paul T. Branks at (317) 292-3007 or pbranks@acsm.org 


For registration or general information about the 2015 National Physical Activity Plan Congress, visit: http://npapcongress2015.org 

About the NPAP Alliance

The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance is a not-for-profit organization that is committed to insuring the long-term success of the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP). The Alliance is a coalition of national organizations that have come together to insure that efforts to promote physical activity in the American population will be guided by a comprehensive, evidence-based strategic plan. The Alliance is governed by a Board of Directors that is composed of representatives of organizational partners and at-large experts on physical activity and public health.

About the RRCA

Founded in 1958, The Road Runners Club of America is the oldest and largest national association of running clubs, running events and runners dedicated to promoting running as a competitive sport and as healthy exercise. The mission of the RRCA is to promote the sport of running through the development and growth of running clubs and running events throughout the country. The RRCA supports the common interests of runners of all abilities during all stages of life by providing education and leadership opportunities along with programs and services that benefit all runners. The RRCA strives to provide quality programming that can be replicated throughout the country, such as our highly successful Start a Running Club program, which has been the cornerstone of our organization for over fifty years. The RRCA is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization with the IRS. Learn more at www.RRCA.org.

Road Runners Club of America

RRCA Executive Director to Speak at 2015 National Physical Activity Plan Congress

Contact Info

Andy Smith

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