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Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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Statewide Initiatives



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What We Do

The Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (GCPFS) plays a vital role in the promotion of physical activity and wellness throughout the state of Louisiana. In 1992, GCPFS started with no money, staff or equipment.  With the appointment of new hard-working board members and an aggressive executive director, GCPFS is now one of the top Fitness Councils in the country.

In 1994, GCPFS was one of the first organizations to announce publicly that a childhood obesity problem was coming to Louisiana, and the Board laid out its strategy for addressing the problem. The first order of business was to conduct fitness assessment tests on elementary school children and the results were frightening. In the spring of 1995, GCPFS tested kids in twelve parishes, and in 2005 thirty parishes were tested statewide. 

From 1993 to the present day, GCPFS is the only state that has a statewide Fitness competition for elementary schools called, the Elementary Fitness Meet that involves thousands of kids across the state.  The Fitness Council in 1996 developed Low-Budget Employee Wellness programs for medium and large companies, which there are now 72 companies that use the program.  GCPFS has one of the largest State Games in the country called, the Governor's Games with more than 200,000 participants statewide and more than 60 Olympic-style events in urban and rural populations across Louisiana. The Governor's Games produce amateur Olympic-style sporting events to promote physical fitness and health through participation in competitive sports, workshops and conferences.

One of The Council's most popular programs, Lighten Up Louisiana, will be transformed into Living Well in Louisiana that allows Louisianans to track their fitness and nutrition levels online by forming teams of 2-10 people for adults and 10-30 for youth. This state-of-the-art fitness tracking system was the first of its kind in the United States given to GCPFS by Core Health Technologies from Ontario, Canada. Since 2004, more than 100,000 Louisianans has participated in the program, and the number of pounds lost is more than one million and miles accumulated better than twelve million.

The Fitness Council cosponsors a weightlifting Development Center with LSU-Shreveport and just recently formed a partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee that designated the Center as an official U.S. Olympic Weightlifting Training site coordinated by one of the GCPFS board members. Scholarships from the Olympic Committee through GCPFS will be given to disadvantaged youth in the community to train at the Center. Olympian Kendrick Farris of Shreveport trained at the Center and competed in the 2008 Olympics in China.

GCPFS sponsors the Tour deFitness workshops throughout the state that is designed to provide training, teaching strategies, authentic assessment and best practice information to K-12 teachers in the areas of health and physical education.

Our Mission

  • Develop, foster, and coordinate services and programs of physical fitness and sports for the people of Louisiana;
  • Sponsor physical fitness and sports workshops, clinics, conferences, and other similar activities;
  • Give recognition to outstanding developments and achievements in, and contributions to, physical fitness and sports; 
  • Stimulate physical fitness research;
  • Collect and disseminate physical fitness and sports information and initiate advertising campaigns promoting physical fitness and sports;
  • Assist the Department of Education in helping schools in developing health and health and physical fitness programs for students;
  • Encourage local governments and communities to develop local physical fitness programs and amateur athletic competitions;
  • Develop programs to promote personal health and physical fitness in cooperation with medical, dental, and other similar professional societies; 
  • Enlist the support of individuals, civic groups, amateur and professional sports associations, and other organizations to promote and improve physical fitness and sports programs.