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Healthy, Active Lives for All Americans

Adaptive Sports, Disability, Fitness, I Can Do It, You Can Do It | April, 28 2014

By: Anthony Marc Robles, Council Member

Ever since I was a young boy, my Mom told me that I was made for a special reason. I believe that reason was to wrestle. When I think back to my first days on the mat in the 8th grade, I am reminded of so many obstacles I had to overcome. I was a terrible wrestler. I weighed in at about 90 pounds and didn’t know a thing about the sport. But through hard work and perseverance, I became a champion. I was undefeated (96-0) in my junior and senior years of high school, and even won two Arizona state championships and the national high school wrestling championship. After high school, I went on to wrestle for Arizona State University where I won the 2011 NCAA Division I National Title at 125 pounds.

Although I was born without my right leg, that never stopped me from competing or enjoying other sports and activities with my siblings. In fact, I don’t know what I would have done without the opportunity to be active as a kid. It has helped me become the man that I am today!

I am committed to empowering kids and adults with disabilities to experience freedom through sports and recreational activities. Sports are a gateway to meeting new friends, learning important life skills and improving your health. However, not all children and adults with disabilities have access and opportunities to enjoy being active like I did. And since individuals with disabilities have a greater need for regular physical activity and good nutrition to prevent obesity and other chronic conditions, it is even more important that schools and communities provide equal opportunities for all Americans to lead healthy, active lives.

That’s why, as a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN), I am especially proud of the I Can Do It, You Can Do It!(ICDI) program.  ICDI is a health promotion model that can be used to facilitate access to sports and recreational activities and nutrition education for children and adults with disabilities. To accomplish this goal, we need your support. So I am calling on you to become an ICDI Advocate today!

ICDI Advocates can be from K-12 schools, colleges and universities, community or faith-based groups, or organizations that operate sports or recreation programs and/or would like to establish adapted or inclusive programming for children or adults with disabilities. Becoming an ICDI Advocate has its benefits. Advocates gain access to complimentary ICDI orientation and training modules, assistance to implement or establish an inclusive or adapted program and so much more!

To learn more about how to become an ICDI Advocate and request an application, please email ICDI@HHS.gov. Visit www.fitness.gov  for more information about ICDI and to see what First Lady Michelle Obama has to say about the program.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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