JSU hosts Fit Fest Week and the 7th Annual Fight Against Obesity “Sweetness” 5K

(JACKSON, Miss.) – To raise awareness about Mississippi’s obesity epidemic and educate the community about healthy eating and exercise, the Walter Payton Recreation and Wellness Center at Jackson State University will present the 2013 Fit Fest, a week-long set of events that culminates with the 7th Annual Fight Against Obesity “Sweetness” 5K Run/Walk and One Mile Fun Run. This year, the Walter Payton Center has partnered with The Biggest Loser’s Patrick House, Parents and Kids Magazine and Jackson Public Schools in efforts to fight obesity.     5k2013 poster (1)

Fit Fest Week will take place at the Walter Payton Recreation and Wellness Center on campus starting on Monday, March 25, and will continue though Saturday, March 30. The Fit Fest Week will feature various free fitness and wellness events at the center.

Last year, 687 participated in the 5K event, said Rachel Cowan, director of recreational services at the Walter Payton Center.

“Mississippi leads the nation in obesity rates. We all need to do our part to change those statistics. The center works each day to educate the community about the benefits of healthy living. The ‘Sweetness’ 5K and Fit Fest Week will allow us to reach a larger audience,” Cowan said.

The Wellness Health Fair will be held March 27 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., and will feature various health and wellness testing for cholesterol, peripheral artery disease (PAD), blood pressure and blood sugar and HIV, among other activities. This event is free and open to the public.

The “Sweetness” 5K Run/Walk and One Mile Fun Run, which bears the nickname of the late NFL Hall of Fame athlete and JSU graduate Walter Payton, begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 30.  Runners and walkers of all fitness levels are welcome. Participants may register online atactive.com (keyword: “Sweetness”) or in person at the Walter Payton Center. The pre-registration deadline is March 22. 

Proceeds from the “Sweetness” 5K will go to the Live Well Membership Fund. The fund awards annual scholarships to children to attend JSU’s Camp Tiger Tails summer day camp. It also provides Walter Payton Center memberships to qualified candidates who are obese and/or diagnosed with obesity-related illnesses. The Live Well Membership Fund provides access to preventive health care and personal health management through fitness, education, and weight management programs at the Walter Payton Center.

Here is the schedule of events:

Monday, March 25 – Kick-off Line Dance and Zumbathon, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, March 26 – “Taste of Fitness,” 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, March 27 – JSU Wellness Fair, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, March 28 – Rec Fest Games and Sports, 12 p.m.

Friday, March 29 – JPS Open House Free for All

Saturday, March 30 – Race Day, including JPS Fun Fest, Easter Egg Hunt, Face Painting and more.

For more information, contact Rachel Cowan or David Edwards at the Walter Payton Center at601-979-1368 or by email at rachel.n.cowan@jsums.edu or david.m.edwards@jsums.edu.


– JSU –

About Jackson State University: Challenging Minds, Changing Lives

Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, health-care, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in the Jackson metropolitan area, Jackson State is located near downtown, with three satellite campuses throughout the city. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu or call 601-979-2121.

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