Kids celebrate at last year’s National Gymnastics Day

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Sept. 10, 2008 — Riding on the heels of the USA’s tremendous success at the 2008 Olympic Games, gymnastics clubs across the country will celebrate National Gymnastics Day on Sept. 13, 2008, with a variety of different activities, including gym open houses, fitness challenges and cartwheel-a-thons. National Gymnastics Day is also the culmination of the Tyson Fitness Challenge, a joint initiative of USA Gymnastics and Tyson Foods that has two goals: helping today’s kids get more physically fit through fun activities; and raising money for Children’s Miracle Network to help kids who are fighting illnesses. This year’s goal is to have the accumulated total of donations to Children’s Miracle Network break the $1 million mark.

“National Gymnastics Day is a wonderful way to build awareness of gymnastics and its many benefits, as well as to raise money for a worthy cause, Children’s Miracle Network,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Physical fitness is an important part of everyone’s life, and the Tyson Fitness Challenge allows children involved in gymnastics to help other kids.

“In just seven years, the USA Gymnastics family has raised a total of $816,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, and we aim to push that past $1 million total this year.”

Established in 1999, National Gymnastics Day is a platform to showcase the many benefits of gymnastics, as well as promote the ideals of physical fitness and community service nationwide. USA Gymnastics and its gym clubs began raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network through National Gymnastics Day in 2001, and the Tyson Fitness Challenge became the fundraising platform in 2006.

Geared toward youngsters, ages 4-16, the Tyson Fitness Challenge is not about teaching gymnastics skills, but using gymnastics to help kids become more physically fit and to learn about a well-balanced diet. The culmination of the Tyson Fitness Challenge is voluntary participation in raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network. Participants and clubs obtain pledges for achieving a set number of elements in a specified time, whether it is fitness-related skills, cartwheels, flips, etc.

In 2007, gym clubs raised a total of $171,000, setting a new annual mark. Gymnastics World in Broadview Heights, Ohio, raised $25,505, the most by a club, and Andrew Wise from Sonshine Gymnastics Academy in Conway, Ark., raised $3,707, the most money by an individual for the second straight year.

Clubs have planned a number of activities, some of which are listed below. To see what gymnastics clubs in your area are doing for the Tyson Fitness Challenge and National Gymnastics Day, visit

  • USA Gymnastics will host a Tyson Fitness Challenge cartwheel-a-thon for local gym clubs at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Ind. 2008 Olympic team silver-medalist Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind., will be on hand to sign autographs.

  • Students at USA Gymnastics Academy in Palatka, Fla., will cartwheel down a sidewalk with a Children’s Miracle Network banner leading the way.

  • 1st Class Gymnastics in Annapolis, Md., will hold an open house with gymnastics and cheerleading demonstrations, a moon bounce fitness challenge and a silent auction to benefit Children’s Miracle Network.

  • Sterling Gymnastics in Sterling, Mass., will host a cartwheel-a-thon for children ages 2 and older, as well as a Mom & Pop Olympics for adults ages 21 and older, giving both children and their parents the opportunity to showcase their skills and to support Children’s Miracle Network.

  • Olympiad Gymnastics in Chesterfield, Mo., will host a fair with gymnastics demonstrations, a cartwheel-a-thon, contests, games, raffles and a silent auction.

  • Gymnasts at Aero Gymnastics Academy in Vestal, N.Y., will perform a high-flying show at the local mall. The show will include demonstrations by the competitive team, dance displays and a baby yoga demo. The club will take donations for Children’s Miracle Network at its display table.

  • Ten Point O Gymnastics in North Ridgeville, Ohio, will host a fitness festival with fitness challenges, games, obstacle courses, raffles, demonstrations, music, and food, as well as a continuous four-hour jump-a-thon. All proceeds will go to Children’s Miracle Network.

Children’s Miracle Network—the alliance of premier hospitals for children—is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America. Each year the 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. For more information on Children’s Miracle Network visit

Tyson Foods, Inc. [NYSE: TSN], founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products, which are marketed under the “Powered by Tyson®” strategy. Tyson is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, providing products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 80 countries. The company has approximately 107,000 Team Members employed at more than 300 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.