The Storm's Sheryl Swoopes with Alicia Vasquez and Veronica Sosa, representing Quincy High School.
Inspiring young basketball players to work on their jump shot may help their team win, but the Seattle Storm recognizes that also encouraging kids to exercise and eat a well-balanced diet will lead to long and healthy lives. That’s why the Storm was honored to accept the Heroes of Health Healthy Living Award, recognizing the team’s work to promote youth fitness.
During the 2008 season, the Storm partnered with PCC Natural Markets, Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Washington State Nurses Association and the Washington Health Foundation to host a series of clinics aimed at educating children about the value of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Anne Levinson, chair of the Force 10 Hoops LLC ownership group, and WNBA legend and Storm star Sheryl Swoopes accepted the award during the Washington Health Foundation’s Heroes of Health Gala Nov. 15. Swoopes also announced that she will be participating in the Storm’s new youth-focused offseason Be Fit initiative, launching in early 2009.
During the Gala, Swoopes joined nearly two dozen Washington state athletes from past Olympics competitions who were recognized as healthy role models. She also signed autographs and posed for photographs with Quincy High School students honored for their work with Promotores de Salud, which breaks down cultural and language barriers between Grant County migrant workers and health care service providers.
Since its first WNBA tip-off nearly 10 years ago, the Storm and its players have focused on youth fitness and nutrition, an effort aimed at turning around sobering recent statistics that indicate more than 16 percent of U.S. kids are obese and another 16 percent are overweight.
- Eileen Norton and Teresa Wippel from the Storm staff
Lupe Cortes of Quincy High School was particularly thrilled to meet Swoopes because she was her No. 22 as a basketball player.
Swoopes poses with Cortes and Karina Valadez.