More than 12 years ago, the Everyone 3 Wins program was an idea born in a classroom at California State University, Northridge kinesiology Professor Steven Loy challenged his students to challenge the ongoing health crisis related to insufficient physical activity with trips to America.
“If my generation has failed, what shall I do to you?” asked Loy, who teaches in CSUN’s College of Health and Human Services.
At that point the problem and the solution are both identified; but no one was taking steps for an effective solution. The students’ responses led Loy to the conclusion that perhaps he needed to get involved in a solution to help them realize the ability to change their lives.
The solution was to create what was then called 100 Citizens, a free, community-based, health education and nutrition training program for students. Eventually the name was changed to 3 WINS, representing Loy’s philosophy that “by looking for three wins in all events, the more substantive and important the event will be.” The three awards share health, community health and, for students, professional development for future employment and career development.
“The goal,” Loy said, “was to encourage students to use their “hard skills” on campus while learning the “quantity skills” necessary to lead and change the program as seen” while Loy focused on creating relationships between sports. park facilities, schools, churches, public health institutions and universities.
“Through the green program, students are given the opportunity to apply the skills learned in school to the real world and serve their communities,” Loy said. They could change people’s lives in school.
“A large part of America is not doing the research they should,” he added. “About 75 percent of the population does not complete 15o minutes of weekly exercise, equal to 30 minutes per day on five days and doing strength exercise on two days.”
This lack of attention to their health, which leads to heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and more, costs Americans billions of dollars every year in health care.
“The students realized that we can’t just tell them what to do, we have to come to them with a solution and shape it according to the needs of the community,” said Loy.
In collaboration with CSUN the health of the sciences Professor Lisa Chaudhari, recently published Loy’s research, which shows that people’s health increased by participating in the 3 WinS and, through their role as role models for family and friends, encouraged others to follow the example, thus providing a positive influence on the overall health of the community. At the same time, the study said, student educators were developing into well-trained professionals.
“3 wins as a sustainable and replicable student-led model can address the existing call for public health to reduce physical activity and related diseases and health inequities,” Loy said.
He points out that in some areas it is difficult for community members to participate in physical activity due to limited access to public parks or exercise facilities, and the cost of owning athletic equipment and clothing is prohibitive.
“The goal of the 3 winners is to engage protected communities in activities that can be sustained and replicated,” he said. “By running this program for 12 years with no external funding required, 3 WINS has demonstrated a model that universities across the country can replicate.”
Loy said he has been inspired over the years by how dedicated people were not to 3 wins to him, but to health.
“So many of the participants are enjoying working with the students – for some of us we were attending the gardens in the first year,” he said.
Loy is also said to have been inspired by many of his students, who have been dedicated to the institution and community for up to 6 years.
Loy said he hopes to expand the program to a national level, and he has published an article calling for kinesiology programs to own the physical inactivity pandemic and his 3-win program.
“The program is free,” he said. “Combined with the social aspect of community members gathering in their families to exercise with a young person, participating in 3 WINS can be a cathartic experience for those participating, especially in life as we continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”