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?Schools should have more time, equipment and personnel for physical education and focus more attention on the athletically untalented child, rather than on the star.
?The standards and prestige of the physical education profession must be raised.
?Community recreational facilities should be increased and better use made of existing facilities.
?All children must have periodic medical examinations.
?Better leadership is needed for physical activity at home (parents), in the school (physical educators) and in the community (recreational directors). Each adult must become a better example of physical fitness.
?Girls should have equal opportunity with boys for physical fitness.
Since Cabinet members whose departments have anything to do with fitness will serve on the council created by the President, this means that at least the following will be included: Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Folsom; Secretary of the Interior Seaton; and Secretary of Agriculture Benson.
Some of the experts at the conference, leaders in the field of health, education or mass communication like Ray Duncan of the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Dr. Leonard Scheele, U.S. Surgeon General; David Sarnoff of RCA; Roy Larsen of Time, Inc.; Joseph Prendergast of the National Recreation Association, will doubtless be included in the citizen's committee. Physical education researchers like Peter Karpovich, Thomas Cureton and Frederick Rand Rogers, all exponents of some very controversial theories, will probably also be among its members although they did not attend the Annapolis talks.
Formal summaries and speeches were delivered in the lavish auditorium in the Naval Academy's Mahan Hall, where Nixon, in the opening session, was called upon to give a demonstration of physical fitness. No provision had been made to move the podium out of the way so a movie could be shown. Nixon started pushing it by himself and before help came he almost landed it in the laps of the conferees. In between bouts with the podium he dropped some startling statistics: "Less than 50% of our boys and girls in high schools get physical education.... Ninety-one percent of our 150,000 elementary schools have no gymnasium." Putting in a plea for the unathletic child, Nixon said: "I remember spending four years on the bench at Whittier College, so I understand why the nonathlete needs attention."
National Recreation Association Director Prendergast tripped going up to the stage and cracked: "My fitness is not very good. I can't even make the steps." Prendergast stressed that "the fitness of American youth will be determined not in government offices, or by books, or in state capitals, but by person-to-person contact in the communities where the children live." Our concern should be, he said, for "the normal, average kid...who is neither good enough to be a championship team player nor bad enough to be a juvenile delinquent."