[05/18/07 - 06:49 PM]
Sports Star Anna Kournikova Teams with Cartoon Network to Help Boys & Girls Clubs of America Get Animated
Featuring multiple Cartoon Network animated "stars" joining Ms. Kournikova and BGCA kids in various demonstrations, the program will be introduced to some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country starting June 4, and will reach more than four million kids between the ages of 6-13.

[via press release from Cartoon Network]

Sports Star Anna Kournikova Teams with Cartoon Network To Help Boys & Girls Clubs of America GET ANIMATED

New In-Classroom DVD Program Demonstrates Fun Exercises to Help Kids Stay Healthy and Active

Former Tennis Pro and current Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) ambassador Anna Kournikova is teaming with Cartoon Network on an all-new healthy lifestyles DVD program entitled GET ANIMATED WITH ANNA KOURNIKOVA that will teach kids fun, creative ways to stay healthy and active in any typical indoor classroom. Featuring multiple Cartoon Network animated "stars" joining Ms. Kournikova and BGCA kids in various demonstrations, the program will be introduced to some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country starting June 4, and will reach more than four million kids between the ages of 6-13. The announcement was made this morning in Orlando, FL, at the annual BCGA convention by Frank Sanchez, vice president of corporate relations.

"GET ANIMATED WITH ANNA KOURNIKOVA presents a brand new opportunity for kids to learn creative ways to be more active and energetic on a daily basis, even if time or weather might force them to remain indoors," explained Sanchez. "While Boys & Girls Clubs of America offer numerous sports and recreational programs for our Clubs, we found that a significant number of kids choose not to participate if they are not yet proficient or comfortable with a particular sport. This new DVD program shows that absolutely every child can find a way to raise his or her heart rate, burn some calories and become more fit´┐Żeven in a non-traditional setting like a classroom. Best of all, it can be really fun, too."

"I am very excited to be a part of this health and fitness DVD on behalf of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America," stated Anna Kournikova. "As an athlete, I understand the importance of being in good shape and leading a healthy lifestyle so I wanted to share some of my knowledge with today's youth in a fun and interactive way. It's about making our kids stronger in both body and mind."

"The overall objective of GET ANIMATED WITH ANNA KOURNIKOVA is to instill a sense of the benefits and importance of daily movement," added Dennis Adamovich, Cartoon Network Senior Vice President of Marketing. "This project will be applicable to all kids, not just athletes, and implemented daily throughout Boys & Girls Clubs."

In addition to the exercise/activity DVD, each GET ANIMATED WITH ANNA KOURNIKOVA kit will include an instruction booklet or manual, daily achievement logs, certificates of milestone/goal achievement and in-club brochures for parents describing the program. All materials will be available both in English and Spanish. To help introduce the project, BGCA.net will feature a short video promo presenting a welcome message from Anna Kournikova.

Cartoon Network will help promote the new BGCA program to its kid and parent audiences with colorful banners, hotlinks and video messaging at CartoonNetwork.com. BGCA also will send eBlasts to all Clubs to alert leaders of the upcoming program and to request feedback once the materials arrive.

The GET ANIMATED WITH ANNA KOURNIKOVA program was designed to introduce and encourage daily in-classroom movement and exercise as a way to stimulate non-traditional physical activity. Produced to coincide with standard BGCA rotations between club-based activities, each five-minute exercise break will promote one or more of the following activities:

Warm Up/Cool Down (gearing up/relaxing the body; proper breathing)

Aerobics (heart rate, balance and coordination)

Strength Training/Conditioning (physical activity, muscular build)

Stretching (flexibility, avoiding injuries)

The Cartoon Network-sponsored project spotlights several non-traditional exercises not typically taught in sports or physical education. Host Anna Kournikova is assisted throughout the presentation by Cartoon Network "celebrities" such as Bloo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Lazlo and Raj from Where's Lazlo?, and Billy and Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. They provide humorous commentary and encouragement for kids as Ms. Kournikova presents each different physical activity. The activities are meant to be implemented into any classroom setting and include the following:

Warm Up Exercises provide a way to get the oxygen and blood flowing and kids to get moving!

Chair Aerobics is a fun way to get your heart pumping and your muscles working. These quick exercises can energize, increase productivity and provide an easy alternative to conventional exercises.

Air Step Aerobics is similar to Step Aerobics only without a step. Students pretend to have a step in front of them. This is a great way to increase the heart rate, energize the mind, and have fun!

Pretend Rope Jumping is a great way for students to practice rope jumping skills without ever making a mistake. No equipment is needed as students use only a "pretend" rope.

Canned Food Exercises are a convenient way to strengthen muscles and help build strong bones without having to spend money on equipment. One pound cans of food are used as weights. Muscular endurance is emphasized as opposed to muscular strength which is developmentally appropriate for kids aged 8-11.

Mind in Motion works both the body and the brain. Arrows and Cartoon Network characters pointing in different directions appear on the screen and children (and adults) must react by moving his/her feet, arms or body in the direction of the pointing arrow(s).

Cool Down Exercises help bodies cool down and enable kids to focus and prepare for new tasks.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) comprises a national network of more than 4,000 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving some 4.8 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances. Known as "The Positive Place for Kids," the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation.

Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in more than 91 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Overnight from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34.

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