Fitness advocate Cosgrove wins spot on President Bush's team
Like many athletes, Katherine Cosgrove credits her coaches
for her success. So when President Bush appointed her to the
President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, she called
her master's adviser, Wayne Osness, KU professor of health,
physical education and recreation.
"He is such a cheerleader for his students, and it's
very fun to be one of his protegees," says Cosgrove,
g'85. "When I was in Washington, everyone knew Dr. Osness.
He's so well respected in our field."
Cosgrove traveled in June to Washington, D.C., where she
was sworn in along with 20 fellow appointees, including Olympic
medalists Marion L. Jones and Derek Parra, professional golfer
Nancy Lopez, and football greats Emmitt Smith and Lynn Swann.
Members of the council, which Cosgrove likens to a think tank,
include athletes, scholars, physicians and executives. The
group reports to Tommy Thompson, secretary for health and
Cosgrove says Osness and other teachers through the years
helped her parlay a childhood love for sports into a professional
calling. She owns F.I.T. Bodies, a fitness consulting company
in Overland Park, Kan., and for 17 years has trained clients,
given speeches and written fitness articles. The name of her
company, she says, recalls the basic ingredients of good exercise:
Fitness, Intensity and Time. "It was probably a test
question in Physical Education 101, and I'm still using it,"
she says. "It's more than the name of my company
it's the principle behind what I do."
As she continues her advocacy on a national platform, Cosgrove
will serve on the council's subcommittee on communication
and information. She already has met with her new colleagues
and officials from the Centers for Disease Control and the
Alliance of Physical Fitness and Dance. "Secretary Thompson
is a very big proponent of prevention," she says. "Illnesses
such as diabetes and obesity very much affect our healthcare
costs, and a lot of those costs can be decreased when people
make wise individual choices. As a nation, we've got to help
one another become healthier."
As a longtime KU volunteer, she also plans to raise awareness
about her alma mater. "I was tempted to hand out Jayhawk
stickers at my first meeting, but I'll wait for the right
time," she says. "I'm such a proud Kansan and proud
American to serve and to be appointed by a president
who walks the walk and runs the run."