World Fit 2014 kicks off in Dallas

3 | 4 | 2014

The latest edition of World Fit, a walking and exercise programme aimed at combatting childhood obesity amongst school children in the United States, launched in Dallas, Texas, this week with the help of US Olympians.

Created in 2006, the World Fit programme aimed at children aged between nine and 13, involves 40 minutes of daily exercise over 40 day period. The miles walked by students are then logged and measured in friendly competition between participating schools.

In preparation for this year's launch, Olympians have been speaking at assemblies in the participating schools to explain what the programme entails and to tell the students about their Olympic experiences in an attempt to inspire them to be the best they can be.

The 2014 edition of World Fit will reach 2,500 children across seven schools in the Dallas area with similar programmes being conducted across the USA.

Olympians involved in Dallas include pole vaulter Dave Clarke [Rome 1960], weightlifter Sammy Walker [Montreal 1976], 3,000 metre runner Joan Hansen [Los Angeles 1984] and swimmer Ryan Berube [Atlanta 1996]. Other Olympians will also support World Fit Coordinators as the programme progresses and many of them will join the children on the walks.

Speaking about the programme, Gary Hall Snr, World Fit founder and multiple Olympic Medallist, said:

"World Fit Coordinators and my fellow Olympians have done a fantastic job activating this year's programme in Dallas. It's great to see that so many young children are being reached and we hope than we can inspire them to lead healthy lifestyles and achieve their goals by harnessing the power of sport."

The 2013 programme was a huge success with 4,074 students across nine Dallas schools logging 457,446 miles in 40 days. The top 25 students at each school were also rewarded with medals. Since the first World Fit Walk in 2009, 83,723 students from 95 different schools across America have logged in a total of 6,901,397 miles. More information can be found at