Newtown Athletic Club (NAC) owner Jim Worthington will join former NFL football player Herschel Walker, TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz and Olympic gold-medal winning volleyball player Misty May-Treanor on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.
Walker and May-Treanor will serve as co-chairs of the council along with former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, according to a May 4 announcement from the White House.
“I am honored to have been appointed to serve on the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition and to work with Secretary Alex Azar of the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a national strategy to expand participation in youth sports, encourage regular physical activity, and promote good nutrition for all Americans,” Worthington said in a release from the NAC about the appointment.
Worthington has a connection to the Republican party and President Trump. He campaigned to become a delegate from Pennsylvania at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland and served in that capacity after being inspired to do so when talking with Ted Christian, a Donald Trump operative, while working out at his club, according to CBS News. In October 2016, Worthington held a rally for then-candidate Trump at the NAC in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
The appointment to the council comes in the same year as the NAC celebrates its 40th anniversary and as Worthington was elected as IHRSA chairman at the IHRSA conference in March. He will begin his year-long term as IHRSA chair on July 1. His appointment to the President’s Council is for two years.
The council, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, was known as the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition under the Obama administration when the focus was mostly on nutrition. Under the Trump administration, the council has been renamed and the emphasis has been placed on increasing children’s participation in sports.
The release from the NAC said: “As the chairperson of IHRSA and now a member of the President’s Council, Jim will work harder than ever to create and promote health and wellness for the nation. He is grateful to the members of the NAC and the community for their support throughout this tremendous journey.”
In addition to Worthington, Walker, Oz and May-Treanor, the President’s Council will include Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, who supported Trump during the presidential campaign.
In a statement to the Boston Globe, Belichick said: “When I was contacted by Ivanka Trump and asked to participate, I was humbled to be asked and honored to accept, as I would have done for any administration. I know that a lot of great leaders have participated on the Council over the past half century, some who are personal inspirations to me, and I am eager to lend any assistance I can to its ongoing mission.”
Lou Ferrigno, who is a bodybuilder and played the Incredible Hulk on the TV series “The Incredible Hulk” also was named to the President’s Council. Ferrigno was on season 12 of the Donald Trump TV series “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Johnny Damon, former baseball player with the Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, is also on the council. Damon was on the last season of “Celebrity Apprentice” on which Trump appeared.
Other members of the council are:
- Brenda Larsen Becker of Michigan (senior vice president of Global Government Affairs of Boston Scientific Corp.)
- Trevor Joseph Drinkwater of California (Hollywood producer)
- Robert Goldman of Illinois (co-founder/chairman of A4M American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine)
- Nan A.S. Hayworth of New York (ophthalmologist, former New York Congresswoman and chair of the ConservAmerica Board of Directors)
- Matthew Hesse of Nebraska (founder and CEO of Corr-Jensen, which makes a weight loss pill called Ab-Cuts).
- Ashlee Lundvall of Wyoming (Ms. Wheelchair USA)
- Jacob Olson of California (blind college football player)
- Natalie Gulbis Rodarmel of California (professional golfer)
- Shauna L. Rohbock of Utah (Olympic medal-winning bobsledder)
- Kyle Frederick Snyder of Maryland (Olympic gold-medal winning wrestler)
- Stephen Soloway of New Jersey (rheumatologist )
- Julie Teer of Michigan (Chief Development & Public Affairs Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of America)
- Chris Tisi of Florida (CEO of SlimFast)
- Robert Charles Wilkins of New Jersey
- Linda Yaccarino of New York (chairman, advertising sales and client partnerships, NBC Universal)