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ING Awards $120,000 in Grants to Combat Childhood Obesity

ING Run For Something Better School-Based Running Programs Help Students Learn Healthy Choices and Take Responsibility for Their Own Fitness

Published 09-02-10

Submitted by ING

ING today announced that it has awarded 60 schools across the U.S. with $2,000 grants to help students combat childhood obesity by getting them more active through school-based running programs. Through its ING Run For Something Better® School Awards Program, financial services leader ING, in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), is helping to introduce fourth- through eighth-grade students across the country to the benefits of running and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Sixty schools will receive $2,000 in funding to support a minimum of an eight-week running program that will conclude with a culminating running event in celebration of the students' achievements. Schools can download unique running lesson plans developed by NASPE and based on the National Standards for Physical Education (NASPE, 2004) to serve as the foundation of the running program or to supplement an existing school program. Other program materials, such as sample eight-week training plans, distance logs and a running journal, will aid in the development of running skills and preparation for a culminating running event.

"ING is pleased to provide grants to schools across the nation to help them engage students in healthy lifestyles changes, personal development, goal-setting and group participation," said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president, ING's Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. "Understanding the connection between student achievement and physical well being, we are committed to making it easier for educators to empower their students to achieve a better future. ING Run For Something Better allows us to make a positive impact on educators and their students."

Grant awards were available in all states and the District of Columbia to elementary or middle schools for running programs that targeted fourth- through eighth-grade students. Over 350 schools applied for the 2010 ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program. A NASPE review board consisting of 190 teachers and education administrators reviewed all applications.

In 2009, the ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program awarded 50 grants to schools in 22 states providing 2,804 students the opportunity to discover running as a fun and easy way to increase physical activity and learn how to make healthy lifestyles choices. Students participating in the program ran a total of 98,146 miles -- that's almost four times around the world!

"NASPE has seen first-hand the positive, direct impact this program is having on students nationwide," explained NASPE Executive Director Charlene Burgeson. "Data submitted to NASPE from participating schools showed an average 16.6% increase in aerobic cardiovascular endurance in students from the start to the conclusion of these running programs. NASPE is proud to be part of an effort that is making real changes in the lives of our nation's youth, giving them the opportunities and tools needed to build a foundation for healthy and active lives."

Research has shown that running is a great physical activity for promoting good health and self-confidence. It qualifies as a life sport; one in which participants are likely to maintain over their life spans. Running helps build strong bones and muscles, contributes to fitness, and lends itself to personal goal-setting. Additionally, recent research has shown that students who are healthy and physically active are more likely to be motivated, attentive, and successful academically.

To learn more about the impact of this program and how to get your school involved, including downloading program materials, visit

About ING
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million residential, corporate and institutional clients in more than 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 105,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.

In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves nearly 30 million customers across the nation.

ING's diversity management philosophy and commitment to workforce diversity, diversity marketing, corporate citizenship and supplier diversity fosters an inclusive environment for employees that supports a distinctive product and service experience for the financial services consumer.

For more information, visit

About the ING Run For Something Better®
The ING Run For Something Better® helps fund school-based running programs in an effort to combat childhood obesity before it ever begins. Linked to ING's commitment to education, the program helps introduce kids to the benefits of sport, a habit of physical fitness, and a healthy lifestyle. Nationally, ING has committed over $2.5 million to fund grants and school-based running programs through ING Run For Something Better. Since 2006, close to one million dollars has also been raised by individual donors through a special charitable fund to encourage others to support the cause by making their own contributions. When someone donates $10 or more to the ING Run For Something Better, ING will recognize their contribution by giving them a special pair of orange shoelaces to wear showing that they are "tied" to supporting kids' fitness. One hundred percent of the net proceeds go to the ING Run For Something Better fitness programs.

For more information about the orange laces, go to

About the ING Foundation
The ING Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in the communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live. Through charitable giving and employee volunteerism, the foundation focuses on sustainable programs in the areas of financial literacy, children's education, diversity and environmental sustainability.

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The preeminent national authority on physical education and a recognized leader in sport and physical activity, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is a non-profit professional membership association that sets the standard for practice in physical education and sport. NASPE's 15,000 members include: K-12 physical education teachers, coaches, administrators, researchers, and college/university faculty who prepare professionals in these areas. NASPE seeks to enhance knowledge, improve professional practice, and increase support for high-quality physical education, sport and physical activity programs. It is the largest of the five national associations that make up the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD). For more information, visit



ING U.S. constitutes the U.S.-based retirement, investment management and life insurance operations of Netherlands-based ING Groep N.V. (NYSE: ING). In the U.S., the ING family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, including retirement plans, IRA rollovers and transfers, stable value, institutional investment management, mutual funds, alternative investments, life insurance, employee benefits, fixed and indexed annuities and financial planning. ING U.S. holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 13 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit

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