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August 2003

Release Date: August 21, 2003

ASU Grant to Tout Benefits of Cycling

An Angelo State University kinesiology professor has been awarded a $2,000 grant from the Texas Bicycle Coalition (TBC) Education Fund to provide an education and training program on bicycle safety and fitness to future physical education teachers.

Dr. Melanie A. Croy received one of three grants statewide for incorporating elements of the program in her teaching methods classes to be offered this fall. By teaching both the value of the bicycle as a vehicle to fitness as well as the proper safety techniques for bicycle use to college students, Croy will prepare them to implement the program in public school physical education classes when they become teachers.

The grant is administered by the Texas Department of Transportation under a federal highway safety program that promotes bicycling as an economical and non-polluting physical activity that provides transportation and recreation while offering a variety of health benefits.

Croy said cycling is an enjoyable activity that can help people become fit. She said the program is timely because of growing concerns over inactivity and obesity in the American public.

Some studies suggest that a quarter of all children under the age of 19 are overweight or obese. That figure is double the rate of 30 years ago. Croy said overweight or obese children and adolescents are at risk for a number of health problems, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer.

"Riding a bicycle is healthy and is an enjoyable activity at any age," Croy said. "I am excited to have the opportunity to participate in this project with the Texas Bicycle Coalition."