George Allen, chairman of the National Fitness Foundation, reported that the foundation plans to build a National Fitness Academy in Laguna Hills for the purpose of training 300 physical education teachers at a time to conduct fitness programs.
The price of construction will exceed $50 million, and the funds supposedly will come from voluntary contributions. No plans have been published for ways to pay for the equipment, supplies, faculty, staff, and maintenance, which would be very expensive. Government agencies may not pay for these.
There are more than 700 colleges and universities in the country preparing physical education teachers in the theory and practice of sports and and physical fitness. These institutions generally have excellent facilities, equipment and well-trained faculty members. Some enroll as many as 300 undergraduate and graduate students at a time.
If there is a weakness in the professional preparation of teachers, the colleges and universities should upgrade their programs. Workshops may be offered for untrained teachers in the field. In addition, special programs may be scheduled at local, state, district and national conventions of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, which has more than 40,000 members.
However, there is no need for a national academy for fitness nor for sports, dance music, art or other special fields that are covered in public and private institutions throughout the country.
RALPH A. PIPER