Along with fulfilling educational and outreach goals of the DEP grant for diesel/idling education (Act 124), I worked closely with a group of students from the Taylor Allderdice Cross-Country team to design comments for a press release hosted by Penn Environment, announcing the publication of a major ozone standards report. The head and assistant coaches were very supportive and helpful in rallying students for the press release, and I then provided background for the issue and prepped the students to provide comment and speak about their experiences as athletes exercising in polluted air. They spoke alongside City Councilman Bill Peduto, Matt Ward of Penn Environment, a representative from Sierra Club, and Jamin Bogi of GASP. One student remarked on his increasing trouble with asthma, another student delivered advice and tips to reduce one’s exposure to air pollution while exercising, and still another framed the issue in a larger economic and public health context. We will hopefully work with this team once more this season, perhaps at one of the final races with GASP hosting the press conference. Additional work this month has gone towards the fall fundraiser, securing silent auction items and making sure that the final details with the caterer/venue staff are ironed out. And I’ve been brainstorming and designing curricula for an Athletes United Virtual Toolkit that will be useful for distribution to schools next year, along with addressing daily phone calls, emails, tabling events, and GASP meetings as they arise.
October 11, 2011 •