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Schools hosting College's exercise research get visit from Danish performance team

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February 9, 2017

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Two Clarke County schools, Chase Street Eementary and Fowler Drive Elementary, will host members of the National Danish Performance Team later this month.

Schools were selected based on their engagement with UGA's Physical Activity and Learning Program (PALs), which was launched with seed funding from the Obesity Initiative. This ongoing study based in the department of kinesiology explores the relationship between exercise and academics and incorporates games and activities into after-school homework time.

The schools are two stops the performers will make while in Athens Feb. 20-22 as part of a 10-month world tour. The National Danish Performance Team consists of 28 young athletes and five chaperones who travel the world to stress the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle and to encourage exercise.

The group also strives to promote understanding in the world while presenting an important part of Danish culture and voluntarism. The athletes range in age from 19-28.

Previously, the group has made stops in Germany, Tanzania, Australia, Indonesia, China and Mexico.

The group's visit was facilitated by the Georgia Department of Public Health and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's SHAPE Initiative and in conjunction with the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and the UGA Obesity Initiative. Only two visits are planned in Georgia this tour, Athens and Atlanta.

"Diane Hartzell, assistant director of the Obesity Initiative, and I have been inspired by the partnership between UGA, the community and the schools in Clarke County to be able to offer our students and community this unique experience to interact with Denmark's top athletes in such a positive way," said Deborah Murray, associate dean for Extension and Outreach in FACS.

At each stop, performers stay with host families from the Clarke County and UGA communities to learn about the local culture.

The school workshops will take place Feb. 21 and feature performers from the team. These workshops will promote healthy living through sports and gymnastics as a fun and empowering activity.

Later that day, the NDPT will put on their IMANI show in the Ramsey Student Center volleyball arena, sponsored by the UGA Obesity Initiative, UGA Recreational Sports, UGA Student Affairs, Fight Against Youth Obesity and Exercise is Medicine.

IMANI features a dynamic mix of world class tumbling, vaulting and mini-trampoline that is choreographed with acrobatics. The show begins at 7:15 p.m. and is free to the public. Visitor parking will be available in the East Campus parking garage for $5.

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the performers will visit the UGA Child Development Lab at the McPhaul Center as well as the Clarke County Early Learning Centers.

These visits are in partnership with the Eat Healthy, Be Active (EHBA) program in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

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Related links: Department of Kinesiology