by Robert “Bob” Jackson, Mayor, Casa Grande
The City of Casa Grande has developed a number of programs to help all ages participate in healthy programs. One of our newest initiatives is “Let’s Move”.
Let’s Move is the program that was introduced five years ago by First Lady Michelle Obama to address the growing problem of childhood obesity. As part of the fifth anniversary, the First Lady is encouraging Americans across the country to give out high-fives when they see someone making healthy choices. She is challenging everyone to #GimmeFive things they are doing to eat better, be more active, and lead a healthier life.
Casa Grande has been recognized as one of the leading communities in the United States in developing new programs. We have partnered with the Casa Grande Elementary School District to provide healthy food choices for many of the schools. The Districts “Sensational Salad Bar” program received national attention as an innovative partnership to demonstrate healthy eating habits.
Our latest efforts include the establishment of a committee of public and private sector partners to develop community awareness and participation in new programs. The committee, known as the “Let’s Move Casa Grande Coalition”, was created after Banner Casa Grande and SunLife Family Health completed a community survey showing obesity and diabetes (one of the results of obesity )as the leading local health concerns.
Among the Coalition’s current goals are: recruiting new business members and programs, developing a community calendar for the various programs, and creating new programs and events for the community.
Our City Recreation programs cross all ages and ability levels. You can hike Casa Grande Mountain trails, most of which are marked with both distances and degree of difficulty. Pickle Ball has become one of the newest fads for many of our older active population. While we are currently working to provide more courts to meet the growing local demand, we do have several courts available on a first come, first serve basis. We also offer indoor pickleball seasonally at Len Colla Center.**
Team sports are also popular with softball leagues available to all age groups and youth soccer, basketball, and football offered in conjunction with various non-profit groups. Drop in senior programs are offered at the Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center.
One of the things we are trying to better understand is what types of wellness programs our major employers may have in place. There is a direct correlation between wellness programs and worker productivity and health. I know at the City we have a wellness program that is offered to all employees and includes basic health screening. We also encourage our employees to have a regular work out program and have exercise facilities available in many of our major work centers.
The employees also participate in a couple of weight loss programs similar to the “Biggest Loser” television series. While I don’t know that there is a scientific response, we have seen our health and worker compensation rates decrease over the past couple of years.
There are community opportunities for all types of exercise and healthy eating programs, at all levels of cost. Participate in any of your choice and feel better every day.
[**Editors Note: What: 2015 USAPA Nationals VII Pickleball Tournament Date: November 8-15, 2015 (practice day is Sat Nov 7) Venue: Robson Ranch (all Age Divisions Nov. 8-11) Palm Creek (player clinics and manufacturer demos Nov 12) Palm Creek (Open and Senior Open Divisions Nov. 13-15) 2014 Nationals Recap: With 713 player registrations and nearly 1,800 matches, Nationals VI was the largest pickleball tournament in the history of the sport. There were a number of new faces which further demonstrates the growth of the game and the ability to attract quality players from all over the nation. The age groups were larger than the previous year and $14,000 in prize money was awarded in the Open and newly-created Senior Open divisions. ]