The stage was dark and the crowd still. A single beam of light shone on a red-carpeted dot, just right of center stage. As Bill Simon, cofounder of UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind, walked out, he took the clicker from his pocket, put on a smile, and took a deep breath. It was time to share his mission of the past 20 years – the concept that physical activity is the foundation for a successful life and is especially vital to our children and in our schools.

The 2019 TEDxUCLA event was hosted in the iconic Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. The event was one of many kickoff events during the UCLA Centennial celebrations. For the past 8 years, volunteer organizers have been hosting TEDxTalks on campus, showcasing some of the most dynamic ideas at UCLA.

TEDx events are self-organized and independent of TED. TED is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” The talks are generally 18-minutes long and given by memorization, a style which makes the TED Talk both popular and challenging.

“Why is physical education a student’s most important subject?” was the title of Mr. Simon’s talk, emphasizing the importance of PE, its lack of resources, and the urge for more attention on a growing body of research suggesting the multitude of benefits physical activity has on young people.