The Misty Blues all-women skydiving team – sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in partnership with Michigan State University – will thrill fans of all ages when they jump into Spartan Stadium during “Junior Spartan Day”this Saturday. But they’ll also carry with them an important message specifically for younger fans: Start good habits early for a lifetime of health.
The jump is part of a larger statewide effort by Blue Cross, called #MIKidsCan, whose goal is to encourage families to get kids eating right and being physically active. “By serving as role models to our children and helping them to understand the importance of eating healthy foods and getting daily physical activity, we can encourage Michigan kids to develop positive habits that will help them become healthy adults,” said Andrew Hetzel, vice president of Corporate Communications at BCBSM. Childhood obesity is an epidemic, impacting millions of U.S. children annually, including a third of Michigan children. Michigan has the 18th highest childhood obesity rate in the country. Less than 40 percent of children in the state get the 60 minutes of physical activity day recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Every member of the Misty Blues lives an active lifestyle,” said Amanda Scheffler, co-founder and director of the Misty Blues. “We have to be physically fit in order to make our jumps and land safely, without injury. It’s crucial for young people to know that healthy lifestyles play an important role in many activities they may want to try, and enjoy, in the future.” In addition to the Misty Blues – who will also appear at two BCBSM booths on the stadium concourse during halftime signing autographs and providing #MIKidsCan information, which will be included on “go green, go white” cheer cards – “Junior Spartan Day” will feature a number of other Blue Cross-sponsored activities during the game to promote children’s health. The #MIKidsCan initiative is an extension of BCBSM’s ongoing efforts to help Michigan families make good choices leading to healthier lives. With a focus on improving children’s health, over the last 10 years, BCBSM has given more than $6 million in support of kids’ health and wellness initiatives across the state, reaching more than 100,000 children. For more information on BCBSM’s ongoing efforts to help improve childhood health, visit http://www.AHealthierMichigan.org/mikidscan or follow #MIKidsCan on Twitter. Photo Credit: Reuben Yau