Published on 02/02/16

Walk Georgia and the Atlanta Hawks team up for a night of family fun

By Bridget Marie Thompson

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s Walk Georgia program will host its fifth annual Walk Georgia Night with the Hawks on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Walk Georgia, which empowers and encourages Georgians to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives, will partner with the Atlanta Hawks to offer discounted tickets to the Atlanta Hawks game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

In addition to admission, Walk Georgia Night tickets include early entrance, VIP pregame activities and a T-shirt. The first 45 people to check in at the event will also have the chance to high-five Hawks players as they exit the court at halftime. The event will be hosted at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, and begins at 5 p.m., two-and-a-half hours before tipoff.

This year, as a part of Walk Georgia Night pregame activities, Walk Georgia will recognize the winner of the inaugural Power Up for 30 - Walk Georgia Classroom Activity Contest.

The monthlong contest, cosponsored by Walk Georgia and Power Up for 30, encourages Georgia classrooms to compete against one another for the most time spent exercising as a classroom.

“Highlighting the innovative ways that Power Up for 30 schools are increasing physical activity during the school day allows us to reward teachers for their commitment to school wellness,” said Kelly Cornett, physical activity and school health specialist at the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Power Up for 30 is Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s statewide initiative to provide elementary schools with the training, resources and support necessary to integrate at least 30 minutes of physical activity into the school day.

Through this partnership, which includes the Atlanta Hawks, UGA and the Office of Governor Nathan Deal, Walk Georgia hopes to motivate more educators to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine.

“The Walk Georgia platform provides an excellent, easy-to-use tracking system for the activity being done in the classroom,” Cornett said. “This contest will reward classroom teachers for implementing a more active learning environment, and we also have the opportunity to share their story at the Hawks game to hopefully inspire other teachers across the state.”

According to 2013 statistics by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the obesity rate is over 30 percent for Georgia adults and is almost 13 percent for Georgia adolescents.

The Walk Georgia program was created in 2008 to address the concern of Georgia’s high rates of obesity. Their partnership with the Atlanta Hawks began in 2011 as a way to highlight the benefits of being active to both kids and adults.

“We love partnering with the Atlanta Hawks to offer a family-friendly, VIP event for people who are interested in getting active while supporting the Hawks,” said Walk Georgia Director Maria Bowie.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, log on to

Bridget Thompson is the public relations specialist for the University of Georgia's Walk Georgia program.

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