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WHEREAS, a commitment to exercise and physical fitness is essential to the long term health and well being of the citizens of the Commonwealth;
WHEREAS, heart disease in 2001 was cited as the leading cause of death in the Commonwealth, claiming 15,000 lives, and approximately 55% of the Commonwealth's adults are either overweight or obese and do not regularly exercise.
WHEREAS, 33% of the Commonwealth's children between the ages of two and five who participate in the Women, Infants and Children program ("WIC") are overweight and nearly 90% of high school students do not eat the daily recommended servings of fruit and vegetables;
WHEREAS, the quality of life for the Commonwealth's children will benefit immeasurably through improved coordination of existing sports and physical fitness programs as well as the development of new initiatives promoting exercise and healthy lifestyles;
WHEREAS, it is necessary to create greater awareness of the vital role that sports and physical fitness play in the overall health of our youth and generations to come;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mitt Romney, Governor of the Commonwealth, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby order as follows:
Section 1. There is hereby established the Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports (the "Committee"). The Committee shall systematically review existing sports and physical fitness programs, identify new initiatives and resources needed for a long term and sustainable plan to promote exercise and healthy lifestyles for the Commonwealth's citizens, and advise the Governor as to how best advance awareness of the values and benefits of leading a healthy, active life. To accomplish its mission, the Committee shall:
(a) Establish a long term plan ensuring the sustainability of the Committee and its initiatives;
(b) Identify or create an outreach initiative to encourage youth to participate in sports and physical fitness activities;
(c) Launch a public awareness campaign to educate the Commonwealth as to the benefits of regular exercise and healthy choices; and
(d) Develop an event that promotes awareness in support of the Committee's findings and recommendations.
Section 2. The Committee shall consist of not more than thirty (30) members appointed by the Governor for periods from one to three years and shall include educational leaders, medical professionals, representatives of both amateur and professional sports, experts in the field of recreation, and members of the business community, including specialists in marketing and communications. The Governor shall designate one of the members as Chair of the Committee. All members shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor, without compensation. A representative of the Governor's Office and the Commissioners (or their designees) of the Department of Conservation and Recreation ("DCR"), the Department of Education ("DOE") and the Department of Public Health ("DPH") shall serve the Committee in an ex officio capacity.
Section 3. The Committee may call upon and utilize additional services of individuals, entities or agencies from outside its membership as are necessary and appropriate to accomplish the objectives of the Committee.
Section 4. The Committee shall meet regularly and at intervals necessary to effectively carry out its mission, at such times and places as determined by the Chair.
The Committee shall submit regular reports to the Governor regarding its findings and recommendations.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 15th day of November in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and twenty eight.
MITT ROMNEY, GovernorCommonwealth of Massachusetts
William Francis GalvinSecretary of the Commonwealth