CHICAGO — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is teaming up with National Fitness Campaign (NFC) to bring 15 outdoor Fitness Courts® to communities across the state.
BCBSIL is the lead sponsor of the National Fitness Campaign in Illinois, and is encouraging municipalities, schools and other organizations in the state to indicate interest in applying to join the campaign and bring a Fitness Court® to their community. A total of $750,000 in Grant Funding is available in 2022 from NFC’s National Sponsors and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois to support qualified applicants, who will contribute remaining funds locally if selected for the program.
“Regular exercise is essential to maintaining health and wellbeing and improving health outcomes.” said Katie Cangemi, Senior Program Officer, Community Investment at BCBSIL. “Blue Cross is committed to healthy communities and these Fitness Courts make it easy for anyone at any fitness level to get a good outdoor workout, connect with neighbors and stay healthy.”
“The National Fitness Campaign is proud to welcome Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois as our state sponsor across Illinois” said Mitch Menaged, Founder of NFC. “This program will deliver tremendous resources to contribute to the important mission of improving health outcomes as the network of Fitness Courts grows across the state and joins hundreds of participating communities nationwide.”
Completed Fitness Courts will be located in publicly accessible areas, with the structures designed for use by people of all ages and ability levels. Guided by a smartphone app and with their doctor’s approval, people using the Fitness Court four times a week over a three-month period can potentially lower their resting heart rate by up to 8%.
Municipalities, schools and other organizations in Illinois can apply for grant funding through NFC to plan, fund and receive assistance in constructing a Fitness Court. Those interested in applying for funding can learn more about funding by visiting nationalfitnesscampaign.com/illinois.