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On a national scale, the United States is in the midst of a widespread obesity epidemic. Not only are studies finding that adults are suffering from becoming or being overweight but children are now becoming the focus behind obesity statistics. Studies have shown that obese adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. With parents who are no longer encouraging children to go outside and play, children are choosing to be idle while watching television or video games. It is said that children should have at least 150 minutes of Physical Education per week. Unfortunately, many schools are no longer requiring children to even partake in Physical Education classes. This pandemic of childhood obesity will soon become an epidemic if parents and schools do not take action soon.

Within the state of South Carolina, 21.5% of our youth are said to be obese or overweight. South Carolina also ranks in at No. 48 for overweight or obese children out of all 50 states -- 1 is considered the healthiest. With these statistics changing, and not for the better, the University of South Carolina has created an initiative-based program called the Active Gamecocks. The program encourages children, between kindergarten and eighth grade, to participate in a two-week, 30-minute a day exercise regimen. If the student completes this exercise regimen, they become eligible to receive two complimentary tickets (one student and one guardian) to a predetermined Gamecock athletic sporting event. The program is put in place during the academic year, where three sessions can take place - fall, winter and spring. All organizations are encouraged to participate in as many sessions as they would be it one or three!

This year, Active Gamecocks has expanded to include all middle school students. We are excited to increase the awareness of the importance of physical activity and to have your participants at South Carolina Athletic events this year!

We want to ensure that every participant can attend our events. Due to the expansion, we have split the program into two geographical areas which are assigned to different dates. All participants, regardless of location, will receive tickets to a volleyball, men's soccer and women's soccer match this fall. Please locate your hometown on the below map to ensure you download the correct packet.

UPCOMING ACTIVE GAMECOCK EVENTS

Group 1
Sunday, October 2, 2016 @ 1:30 p.m.
Volleyball vs. Kentucky @ Carolina Volleyball Center

Sunday, October 9, 2016 @ 2 p.m.
Women's Soccer vs. Arkansas @ Stone Stadium

Saturday, October 15, 2016 @ 7 p.m.
Men's Soccer vs. UAB @ Stone Stadium

Group 2
Sunday, October 9, 2016 @ noon
Volleyball vs. Florida @ Carolina Volleyball Center

Sunday, October 16, 2016 @ 3 p.m.
Women's Soccer vs. Florida @ Stone Stadium

Friday, November 4, 2016 @ 7 p.m.
Men's Soccer vs. Kentucky @ Stone Stadium

INFORMATION PACKETS