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October 2, 1998
Contact: John Johnson or Mike Clifford -- 517.332.5046

Sports Nutrition Award Applications Now Available

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Oct. 2 - The Michigan High School Athletic Association Sports Nutrition Award, underwritten by the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, has expanded to educate and recognize the outstanding sports nutrition efforts of its member schools in all 24 sports in which the Association sponsors postseason competition beginning with the 1998-99 school year.

For the past three years, the focus of the Sports Nutrition Program has been to educate and present awards only in wrestling. The expansion of the program to all sports was always a long-term priority of both sponsoring parties.

"Teaching healthy eating habits is necessary in all sports," said John E. "Jack" Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. "To expand the Sports Nutrition Award program to educate, encourage and reward the efforts of our member schools in all sports is a natural expansion of a successful effort we have enjoyed the past few years in wrestling."

Under the expanded program, schools will be sent nutrition education materials and award program entry forms. A school may submit a separate entry form for any or all of the MHSAA sponsored sports in which they participate. A winner will be selected for each of the 24 MHSAA sponsored sports and will receive a $1,000 grant to enhance the winning sports program. A $500 scholarship will also be provided for a student-athlete participating in the sport in which the award was presented. Schools only needed to provide verification of participation in the nutrition program to become eligible for the prize drawing.

In addition, a Merit Award will be presented in each season to the school judged to have conducted the best nutrition education program. The school chosen for the Merit Award will receive a $2,000 grant to enhance its winning sports program; and a $1,000 scholarship will be provided to a student-athlete from that school in the sport that applied.

The deadline for fall sports applications will be November 6, 1998, with the winners to be honored at ceremonies during the MHSAA Girls Basketball Finals on December 5. The deadline for winter sports applications is February 26, 1999, with the winners to be honored at ceremonies during the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals on March 27. The deadline for spring sports applications is May 14, 1999, with the winners to be honored at ceremonies during the MHSAA Girls Soccer Finals on June 12.

"The awards program will help coaches and athletes keep nutrition top-of-mind all season long," said Donna Hensey, manager of Sports Nutrition Programs for UDIM. "Learning about appropriate eating behavior can have an immediate beneficial effect on athletic performance. Also, long-term, healthy eating may become a lifetime habit."

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,300 public, and private high schools and junior high/middle schools. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which does not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools may participate in MHSAA tournaments conducted in 12 sports for girls and 12 sports for boys which attract approximately 1.3 million spectators each year.

With headquarters in Okemos, UDIM is a non-profit, member-driven association that conducts a total promotion program for Michigan-produced milk and other real dairy products.