New program to promote fitness comes to some city schools

May 3, 2012

Some local children will be taking part in a new initiative designed to promote healthy living.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation has awarded a grant to the Independent Health Foundation to bring the national "Soccer For Success" program to ten Buffalo Public elementary schools. 

The youth development program uses soccer as a tool to combat childhood obesity. Independent Health President and CEO Dr. Michael Cropp said the epidemic of obesity and diabetes is driving the crisis in healthcare today.  

"If we are going to turn this around, it's best we start here with kids, and teach them all the right things to do," said Cropp. "And for me, this is what is so exciting about this initiative.

The after-school "Soccer for Success" program will be provided free to about 1,000 elementary school students in at-risk communities. 

Cropp said the program has a proven track record of positive outcomes in other parts of the country.