Throughout the United States, the obesity epidemic is worsening every day. 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, 33.7%, or 1 in 3 children are said to be obese or overweight. South Carolina also ranks in at No. 39 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 fifth 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 (2) complimentary tickets 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, Spring. Elementary schools are encouraged to participate in as many sessions as they would be it one or three!

The Active Gamecocks program has had an ever-increasing number of elementary schools participating. During the spring session, the program had approximately 62 schools and more than 4,000 students participate. The fall session is already panning out to be bigger and better than the fall.

Upcoming Active Gamecock events:

Men's Basketball vs. Oklahoma State, December 6, 2014 at 12 PM
Women's Basketball vs. Auburn, January 2, 2015 at 7 PM

If you are interested in finding out more about the Active Gamecocks program, please contact Lauryn Dugan by email at or 803.576.9189, or use the forms above to register. Go Gamecocks!

Go Gamecocks!