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Schools told to get kids moving

The legislature has told Oregon schools to restore physical education to keep children from getting too fat.

It’s not clear how much of a difference the mandate makes. In Albany schools, for instance, middle schools already provide the amount of PE demanded by House Bill 3141, according to Maria Delapoer of the school district office.

The bill, which Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed last week, gives schools 10 years to offer at least 150 minutes a week of PE in kindergarten through fifth grade, and 225 minutes in grades six through eight. At least half the time has to be in “actual physical activity.”

 — Excerpt from The Albany Democrat-Herald, July 30, 2007

Triathlon will get city racing

Since moving here two years ago, Jeff Henderson has thought of Portland as the “perfect place for a downtown triathlon.” He’ll make it happen Sept. 2, when the athletes take to the river at Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
When Jeff Henderson set out to organize the first-ever triathlon in downtown Portland, he wanted the event T-shirts to be everything he dreamed the race would be: fun, eco-friendly and performance-driven.

So he started with the answer to the question he most commonly gets asked. “Yes, we are going to swim in the Willamette,” read the T-shirts for the Sept. 2 event.

The 32-year-old North Portland resident, who moved here two years ago from New York, also decided to use bamboo for the shirts rather than cotton. It’s “softer than the softest cotton,” he said, as well as biodegradable, moisture-wicking and antibacterial, to prevent odor.

 — Excerpt from The Portland Tribune, July 27, 2007

AST Dew Tour Announces “AST Drops In” Charity Initiative

The AST Dew Tour, the world’s premier season-long action sports tour, today announced AST Drops In, the tour’s new national charity initiative, will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Portland when the Tour comes to Portland for the Vans Invitational on August 16-19.  As part of the announcement, BMX star Cameron White today taught a special BMX clinic at Glenhaven Skatepark to children from the Boys & Girls Club of Portland.  The third event of the AST Dew Tour’s 2007 season, the Vans Invitational will be held at Portland’s Rose Quarter.       

AST Drops In will work with children from the Boys and Girls Club of Portland. As a way to introduce them to action sports, the Tour will provide donations of equipment, with support from Mongoose BMX bikes, Goods BMX shop in Portland, and Crash Pads Inc., along with funds to incorporate action sports into their daily activities.  Through a relationship with Charity Folks, a leading online marketplace for nonprofit fundraising, the AST Dew Tour will auction off memorabilia and experiential items from Dew Tour athletes and partners.  All proceeds from the online charity auction will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Portland.  The Boys & Girls Club of Portland will also receive 1,000 Thursday Dew Tour tickets on behalf of Christenson Electric.  

The AST Drops In auction is in progress now.  Fans can log on to www.charityfolks.com/astdropsin to bid on rare action sports collectibles ranging from two-time Dew Cup winner Ryan Sheckler’s autographed skateboard, which he will be using in competition at the Panasonic Open, to an autographed helmet from 2006 BMX Dirt Dew Cup champion Anthony Napolitan.  Fans can also bid on one-of-a-kind, experiential items, such as a personal FMX pit tour and track walk that includes four Action Zone passes (VIP reserved seating at Finals) and exclusive AST Dew Tour merchandise.  All memorabilia auctions for the Vans Invitational will close on Wednesday, August 15 and bidding for all Vans Invitational experiential items will close by Monday, August 20. 

“AST Drops In is proud to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland,” said Wade Martin, president and general manager of the AST Dew Tour.  “It’s rewarding for the Dew Tour and its athletes to have the opportunity to give back to the communities that host our events.”  

“I’m excited to be a part of AST Drops In and work with the Dew Tour and it’s partners to give back to local children’s charities,” said AST Dew Tour BMX athlete Cameron White.  “It was an honor to work with the children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland and I look forward to coming back to Portland this August.”

“The Boys & Girls Club of Portland is thrilled to have the support of AST Drops In,” said Angela Frizzo of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland. “AST Drops In provides children who might never be exposed to BMX or skateboarding, with the opportunity to get involved with action sports.”

A number of the AST Dew Tour sponsors will also support AST Drops In through a variety of ways.  Right Guard will donate $5 for every Mohawk and $1 for every “faux-hawk” their barber shaves into fans’ hair at the Right Guard Xtreme Xperience in the Tour’s Festival Village, up to a $10,000 donation over the course of the 2007 season.  Mongoose will provide meet-n-greet opportunities with Mongoose team athletes, signed memorabilia, and various action sports equipment at each AST Dew Tour event.  Ogio will provide product and signed athlete memorabilia from their large roster of team riders while Freshpark will provide one ramp and one rail to a local children’s charity in each Dew Tour host city.  TransWorld will also contribute magazine subscriptions to TransWorld Skateboarding, TransWorld Motocross, and Ride BMX in each market. 

Entering its third year, the AST Dew Tour is the most watched and attended action sports property in the world.  Attendance for the 2006 AST Dew Tour totaled nearly 250,000 and an average of 38 million viewers tuned in via NBC and USA each year.  The top athletes in the world will take part in this year’s Tour, all competing for the highly coveted Dew Cup which will be awarded in Orlando at season’s end to champions in each of the six disciplines.  The 2006 Dew Cup winners include Nate Adams (Freestyle Motocross), Jamie Bestwick (BMX Vert), Anthony Napolitan (BMX Dirt), Daniel Dhers (BMX Park), Bucky Lasek (Skateboard Vert) and Ryan Sheckler (Skateboard Park). 

Governor Signs PE Reform Bill

Representing a first step of many in restoring physical education to Oregon schools, Governor Ted Kulongoski signed House Bill 3141 into law today to arrest the obesity epidemic and the growing levels of inactivity of Oregon’s youth. The new legislation establishes a standard of 150 minutes per week or PE instruction for elementary and 225 minutes per week for middle school students to ensure that physical education is a component of every K-8 school curriculum throughout Oregon.

The new legislation provides $1 million, with $860,000 targeted for a grant program to support schools in meeting the new minimum standards for PE instruction. The remaining $140,000 is allocated to fund a much-needed statewide inventory of PE instruction around the state’s 200-plus school districts. The inventory will provide future legislatures with data to determine future funding needs to fully implement the PE grant program within the decade.

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in Oregon. 25 percent of Oregon’s 8th graders are overweight or at risk for becoming overweight and this number has been increasing. The rise in childhood obesity is partly due to the fact that physical education was no longer a mandatory part of the school day. Lack of PE not only leads to overweight, unhealthy children, but also makes children less ready to learn in the classroom. The cost of obesity is alarming: $781 million was spent in Oregon in 2003 on obesity-related medical costs.

The enlightened PE legislation, seen as a victory for more healthy kids, was championed by Senate President Peter Courtney, Majority Leader Richard Devlin, and Senator Kate Brown. More than 35 organizations from across the state that actively endorsed the legislation included the American Heart Association, Oregon Sports Authority Foundation, Council for Children’s Expanded Physical Education and Oregon Medical Association. Nike, part of this coalition, represented strong business community leadership for the passage of the PE reform.

“Starting here in our own backyard, Nike is committed to helping kids have access to play, sports and physical activity,” said Julia Brim-Edwards, Nike’s Director of State and Public Affairs. “This is a great day for Oregon’s kids as we once again recognize the importance and benefits of physical fitness and physical education.”

Dr. Minot Cleveland, a coalition leader who worked on this issue for the past two decades stated, “Passage of this bill is the first critical step in restoring quality physical education to its rightful place in Oregon schools. We cannot ‘treat’ our way out of the obesity epidemic. From a public health standpoint, we must move upstream. Quality, standards-based PE will improve the health, fitness, and academic performance of Oregon children.”

Owen Blank, who spearheaded the support of the Oregon Sports Authority Foundation for PE reform remarked, “Our Legislature deserves the thanks of all Oregonians who care about kids. Legislation bringing PE back to and setting nutrition standards for our schools and significantly increasing funding for Head Start programs will positively impact the lives of our children for years to come.”

Safeway Classic has Wie in field

Michelle Wie, the teenage prodigy whose rapid rise in women’s golf and flirtation with the PGA Tour have made her one of the most famous golfers in the world, will return to Portland to play in the Safeway Classic next month. 

Wie, a 17-year-old from Honolulu, has accepted a sponsor’s exemption to play in Portland’s annual LPGA Tour stop Aug. 24-26 at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.

“It’s huge,” said Tom Maletis, president of Tournament Golf Foundation Inc., the nonprofit organization that runs the tournament. “We’re very happy about it.”

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, July 25, 2007

Letting Portland in on a secret

Merritt Paulson’s friends and family quickly speak of the 34-year-old’s energy when describing the new majority owner of the Portland Beavers. Paulson will need all that zeal as he begins the task of invigorating a franchise that has had three owners in six years and has struggled to find a better niche in a market dominated by the Trail Blazers and the Pacific-10 Conference.

Tonight at PGE Park, Paulson begins his work to change the image of the Beavers even as he weighs whether he should change the name of the team.

He devised tonight’s “Grand Reopening” to raise community interest in his baseball and soccer teams. Players from the Beavers and the Portland Timbers will greet fans before the 7:05 p.m. game and distribute envelopes with cash or gift cards to the first 1,000 fans.

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, July 20, 2007

eUpdate – Sports in the Park Blocks, Central Oregon Expansion, Wakeboarding and Dew Tour

Rediscover the joy of recess during “Summertime Sports in the South Park Blocks” today from 11:00am – 1:00pm at SW Salmon and Park in downtown Portland. Challenge your friends and co-workers to games of ping-pong, air hockey, pop-a-shot basketball, foosball and mini-golf, and learn more about upcoming Oregon sports events. The Oregon Sports Authority and OregonLive.com are proud to bring this fun, interactive sports experience to the Park Blocks each Thursday, today through August 23. Come by during your lunch break to enjoy all the fun and games!

Click below to view the entire Oregon Sports Authority eUpdate.

Field expands to court MLS

Got $30 million to spare? And want to own a Major League Soccer team in the Northwest?

Get in line.

The exclusive negotiating period a California family had to land a potential MLS franchise in the Portland or Seattle area has expired.

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, July 19, 2007

Win two weekly Deschutes Club passes to the JELD-WEN Tradition

Visit OregonLive.com to enter to win two weekly Deschutes Club passes to the JELD-WEN Tradition, featuring private hospitality with first class amenities and a weekly parking pass!

The final major championship of the year on the PGA’s Champions Tour — the first year for the Tradition at Sunriver’s Crosswater Golf Club in Central Oregon.  Watch Champions Tour legends like Jay Haas, Hale Irwin, Peter Jacobsen, Loren Roberts, Craig Stadler and Tom Watson take on one of North America’s top courses.  2007 also welcomes a slew of newly eligible Champions Tour players, including Nick Faldo and Mark O’Meara. 

Buy tickets to the JELD-WEN Tradition here!

Summertime Sports in the South Park Blocks – News Release

The Oregon Sports Authority and OregonLive.com are proud to announce the launch of “Summertime Sports in the South Park Blocks,” beginning this Thursday from 11:00am – 1:00pm at SW Salmon and Park in downtown Portland. The event is free to the public and offers the chance for friends and co-workers to challenge each other to games of ping-pong, air hockey, pop-a-shot basketball, foosball, 4-square and mini-golf.

“Summertime Sports in the South Park Blocks” will occur each Thursday through August 23 and also offers the opportunity to learn about exciting Oregon sports events, such as the AST Dew Tour, Pro Wakeboard Tour, Race for the Cure and LIVESTRONG Challenge.

“We are delighted to provide the chance for everyone to come out to the South Park Blocks and have some fun during the otherwise busy work week,” said Drew Mahalic, CEO of the Oregon Sports Authority. “It’s also a great way for people to learn more about our upcoming events and the important role of the Oregon Sports Authority in enhancing the state through sport.”

“Summertime Sports in the South Park Blocks” will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on July 19 and 26, and on August 2, 9, 16 and 23. The event is made possible by sponsorship support from OregonLive.com.

“We’ve worked on many projects with the Oregon Sports Authority and decided to come up with something for the sole purpose of giving people something fun to do,” said OregonLive.com marketing manager Kelly Johnson. “Summertime Sports in the Park Blocks is the perfect event — it’s free, you can just drop in with your friends or by yourself, and later you can see pictures on OregonLive.com.”

Additional information about “Summertime Sports in the South Park Blocks” is available at www.oregonlive.com/sites/summersports.

Portland needs to take major step

It’s midsummer. What’s a Portland-area golf fan to do?

This year will go down as the area’s slowest for world-class tournament golf in more than two decades. Four years ago, we had the U.S. Women’s Open at Pumpkin Ridge, the first year of the Jeld-Wen Tradition at the Reserve and the LPGA Tour’s Safeway Classic at Columbia Edgewater.

And now? All we can do is twiddle our live-viewing thumbs until the Safeway starts Aug. 24.

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, July 18, 2007

Portland Action Sports Film Contest Underway

The 2007 Portland Action Sports Film Contest, a creation of the Oregon Sports Authority Advisory Council, is just getting rolling.  Last year the winner of the Portland Action Sports Film Contest won tickets to The AST Dew Tour Vans Invitational and had their film screened during the event.  This year first place will win 4 VIP passes to the AST Dew Tour Vans Invitational August 17-19, plus their film in the spotlight on the Rose Garden Jumbotron! 

Click below to go to the Portland Action Sports Film Contest web site.

U.S. preps face world in Portland

With an emphasis on fundamentals and an eye on international play, Nike reorganized its summer camps for elite high school basketball players this year.

And the culmination of the shoe giant’s efforts will be on display during the inaugural Nike Global Challenge on July 29-31 at the University of Portland.

Four U.S. teams — assembled from players who attended Nike-sponsored skills camps — and under-19 teams from Canada, China, Puerto Rico and Senegal will play in the eight-team tournament. International rules will apply.

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, July 16, 2007

Advent of magic in Oregon sports

I left this paper’s Sports section almost 20 years ago because Darwin Barney wasn’t around to make that flawless relay and cut down a North Carolina base runner at the plate. I moved on because Bryce Taylor never stepped up to knock down 11 straight shots and give the Oregon Ducks a 24-point victory in the Pacific-10 Conference tournament championship game.

The NBA draft lottery? Sam Bowie might as well have been autographing the pingpong balls, for all the karma accorded the Portland Trail Blazers.

In those days, there was precious little magic in Oregon sports, just a sullen, rain-soaked sameness. I lived in this state for 19 years before the Beaver football team slogged in with a winning record. From 1980 through 1992, OSU averaged less than two victories a year. In that same span, the Ducks were seven games under .500 and just coming out of a 26-year drought between bowl games.

 — Excerpt from Steve Duin’s column, The Oregonian, July 8, 2007

Collins puts his all into triathlon

Ben Collins wades in the green-brown water of the Henry Hagg Lake shoreline, his white swim cap soon to be lost in the distance among other competitors at the 2007 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship.It’s 8 a.m. Saturday, and in roughly two hours Collins expects to be physically spent, mentally unstable and altogether unsure. He and 1,270 others will swim 1.5 kilometers, cycle 40k and run 10k — a total of nearly 32 miles — in a competition among the country’s best amateur triathletes.

Collins, 24, from Seattle, took second place at the same race in Kansas City last year. With the 2006 winner now a professional, Saturday’s challenge — held for the first time in Oregon — is Collins’ to lose.

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, July 1, 2007