Rome wasn't built in a day; and physical fitness can't be achieved in a week. But some weeks can be most helpful. Such a week is this one, July 7 through 12, officially designated Jaycee Fitness Week.
It is the second annual week of its kind, cosponsored again by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, with the additional backing this year of the Wheaties Sports Federation.
Last year 275 Jaycee chapters across the country entered the competition for the best programs to promote physical fitness within their communities. Winners in cities of four different sizes, as you may recall (SI, Sept. 30), received from Vice President Nixon at the West Point fitness conference the silver Revere bowls which SPORTS ILLUSTRATED gave as trophies.
This year many more chapters are expected to enter.
The value of Jaycee Fitness Week is not only that it puts a deadline on a program. It also kicks off a yearlong schedule of fitness activity in the communities which have the programs, and it sets a pattern other communities can use.
In her fitness survey (SI, May 26) Dorothy Stull pointed out that the Jaycees, through sponsorship of national championships in many sports, have "been in the fitness business for years." But their newest effort is one of the notably positive accomplishments since President Eisenhower established the Council on Youth Fitness in July 1956.
The 11-member board which will judge the competition this year (and announce the winners in August) consists of Bob Cox, newly elected president of the Jaycees; Sidney L. James, Managing Editor of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED; Bob Richards, Director of the Wheaties Sports Federation; Bob Cousy; Bobby Jones; Pat McCormick; Stan Musial; Floyd Patterson; Bonnie Prudden; Tobin Rote; and Bill Talbert.
The board's awards are a credit to some of those good citizens and Jaycees who have responded in thought and deed to the words of President Eisenhower two years ago: "There is a need for arousing in the American people a new awareness of the importance of physical and recreational activity that our young people may achieve a proper balance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength."