First Vice President Tom Daglis Represents USPTA on Capitol Hill

July 16, 2009

One of the goals of the partnership between the USPTA’s Tennis — for the health of it!SM and the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association’s Campaign for a Healthier America is to promote the preventive health benefits of exercise on Capitol Hill. USPTA first vice president, Tom Daglis, had the opportunity to do just that when he was invited to be a part of the seventh Annual IHRSA Summit for a Healthier America on May 6 and 7.

Daglis, Tom Richards, IHRSA’s senior manager of public policy, and IHRSA’s team promoted two bills, the Workforce Health Improvement Program Act and the Personal Health Investment Act, both of which speak to the preventive health benefits of exercise. Daglis had the opportunity to spend time lobbying several senators and congressmen, including Congressman Joe Barton from Texas, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson from Texas, Senator John Cornyn from Texas, Congressman Frank Kratovil from Maryland, and Senator Barbara Mikulski from Maryland.

The main topics of the lobbying session were: recognizing the high obesity percentages of high school students, and understanding that both of these bills would be an investment in prevention and that both would lead to a change in behaviors and lifestyles. Considering that Americans work the longest number of hours and have the longest commutes, bills such as these could have a significant impact on health and wellness. Also, recognizing that our senior population is the highest line item when it comes to paying for healthcare and this segment is the most inactive, the WHIP and PHIT Acts could provide preventative wellness opportunities for this population and save money in the long run.

“As a representative for the USPTA, I felt I was able to bring another perspective to the lobbying table, as tennis is indeed a great exercise activity and certainly a sport of a lifetime,” said Daglis.