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Falcons attempt to set Guinness World Record


The Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, along with Falcons players, cheerleaders, and team executives, have partnered with Coca-Cola (Dasani), Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, HOPSports Training Systems, Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA), and the Georgia Dome to attempt a Guinness World Record for the largest virtual physical education class.

"We are excited about the opportunity to continue to spread awareness and emphasize the benefits of exercise and proper nutrition for our young people," Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay said. "We recognize that our players and cheerleaders have significant influence in changing behaviors that lead to childhood obesity, and we look forward to continuing our fight of moving kids from sedentary lifestyles to active ones."

The event will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Georgia Dome.

Approximately 3,000 students from across the state of Georgia (ages 8-12) who are part of the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation's Falcons Fitness Zone Program and the Atlanta Falcons First Down for Fitness Program have been invited to celebrate their continued commitment to staying physically active and leading healthy lifestyles.

"It is our goal at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to create positive change in the lives of Georgia's 2.7 million children and their parents," said Linda Matzigkeit, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Human Resources at Children's. "The causes of childhood obesity are complex, and this attempt for the largest virtual physical education class is a great example of how we can create positive change for our kids."

The students will be led in instruction by a video courtesy of HOPSports Training Systems for 30 minutes of continuous exercise alongside of several Atlanta Falcon players, cheerleaders, and executive staff which will include Falcons Team President Rich McKay and Stephanie Blank, wife of Falcons Owner and CEO Arthur Blank.

An official Guinness Record adjudicator will be on hand to monitor and verify the record.

The Guinness Record attempt will be broadcast live on Tuesday morning.

The webcast will feature a live video stream of the event, including a 30-minute exercise video. You can tune in beginning at 9:50 a.m. Tuesday at to follow along at your office, school or business. The video will be broadcast in a 16:9 format and will require a Flash-enabled browser to view. A test video is available now to make sure you will be able to view Tuesday's live webcast.

Following the webcast, for those of you who joined along, you will be able to submit the number of participants at your site that successfully completed the 30 minutes of physical activity shown during the webcast. While your numbers will not be counted in the record attempt, it is a great way to show the state of Georgia the number of people that believe in the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and staying physically fit.

If you are interested in participating in the webcast, please contact Liz Serpico by Monday at with the number of people you expect to participate. Following the webcast, please e-mail Liz with the final numbers of completion.

"The Falcons and Coca-Cola have been partners in Atlanta for more than forty years, and we are proud to be a part of this record setting event that promotes youth fitness in our community," said Bea Perez, Chief Marketing Officer–Strategic Marketing, Coca-Cola North America.

The Falcons First Down for Fitness Program, in its fourth year, is a three-month program designed to challenge third through seventh grade students throughout the state of Georgia to participate in fitness activities, eat healthy, and lead a healthy lifestyle.

The program incorporates components of the NFL's Play 60 program, the American Heart Association, and the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association's (SUDIA) Fuel Up to Play 60 nutrition program. Students must participate in physical fitness activities at least 60 minutes, five days a week and maintain healthy eating habits.

"The Southeast Dairy Association is proud of our partnership with the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation in helping students achieve their healthy eating and physical activity goals through our Fuel Up to Play 60 school program," said Betsy Dietsch, Program Account Manager for SUDIA. "The World Record event is a great way to get students excited about fitting physical activity into their day and making healthy food choices like low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese."

The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) was established in 1985 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta Falcons. Since Arthur Blank acquired the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, AFYF has grown to be the largest owner-funded foundation in the National Football League, providing more than $17 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Georgia.

AFYF is taking the issue of childhood obesity head on by investing in nonprofit organizations that are moving school-age kids to spend more time every day in organized physical activity.

"We are honored to be a part of this historical event," said Cindy Sisson Hensley, President of HOPSports. "The support of the Falcons and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation by implementing HOPSports throughout the Atlanta Falcons Fitness Zones furthers their commitment on combating childhood obesity using HOPSports technology. Together, we are truly making a difference and this is one more example."

Mark Geiger, assistant director of marketing and communications said, "The Georgia Dome is always proud to support community efforts, especially ones that encourage youth physical fitness. We hope all participants have a great time and set a world record inside the home of the Atlanta Falcons."

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