Sarasota County Schools News

Orioles Health & Fitness Challenge returns to middle schools

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Oriole Bird and students 2017

WINGING IT: The Oriole Bird works out with Sarasota County middle school students during the 2017 Orioles Health & Fitness Challenge. The initiative continues this year.

This news release is from the Orioles:

SARASOTA, Jan. 19, 2018 - Starting January 22, middle schoolers in Sarasota County will hit the gym to learn about healthy lifestyles through the Orioles Health & Fitness Challenge. Launched in 2016 in partnership with Sarasota County Schools, Health Fit Powered by Sarasota Memorial, and SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco), the program teaches students about the importance of physical fitness, healthy eating, and tobacco-free living.

During the five-week Challenge, more than 4,500 students in grades six through eight will participate in a variety of health and fitness activities led by Sarasota County Physical Education teachers. Each participating student is eligible for two free tickets to the Orioles Spring Training game on February 24 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Each student also receives a voucher for $20 in food and beverage from the Orioles Fit Grill. Families of participating students may also purchase additional tickets to the same game for just $5 each.

Now in its third year, the Challenge curriculum continues to be enhanced to emphasize tobacco-free living and better nutrition. The program also was expanded in 2017 to include Oak Park School, where faculty adapted the curriculum for students with special needs.

“The Health & Fitness Challenge is a fun way for young people to learn healthy habits that we hope will last a lifetime,” said David Rovine, Vice President of Orioles-Sarasota. “The Orioles are deeply committed to fostering the development of Sarasota County youth through this and other activities, such as providing free baseball clinics, promoting the Big League Reader program with Sarasota County Libraries, and supporting the Miracle League of Manasota.”

The Orioles’ youth programs in Sarasota are part of Sarasota 365, a host of initiatives through which the Baltimore Orioles and OriolesREACH demonstrate the ballclub’s year-round engagement with the Greater Sarasota community. A recent independent analysis commissioned by Sarasota County Government concluded that the Orioles generate approximately $89 million in annual economic impact back to taxpayers and residents. By marketing Sarasota to fans in the Mid-Atlantic region, operating a year-round athletic training facility, producing entertainment and sporting events, partnering with charitable causes, and hosting and often subsidizing youth sports tournaments and activities, the Orioles demonstrate an abiding commitment to their Florida home that goes far beyond baseball. For more information, visit   


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