LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Hardin County PE teacher is on a one-man mission fighting chronic conditions in kids like obesity and diabetes.

It's a mission that has earned him national honors.

Forget dodgeball and foursquare: when kids enter the gym at Lincoln Trail Elementary, Chad Sweeney puts them to work doing hard-core physical exercise.

"Basically to try to give them activities to help them become active," Sweeney said. "That leads them to being healthy individuals throughout their life." 

"He's a very nice teacher," said third grader Joseph Kurtz. "He does fun activities with us."

"He's just, he's a great teacher," said Hailey Logsdon, also a third grader. 

Project Fit named Sweeney one of the top four PE teachers in the nation. 

"I've been here for three years and I never really dreamed something like that would happen," Sweeney said. 

The national non-profit group promotes an indoor and outdoor education model designed to boost areas where students most commonly fail fitness tests. Sweeney uses it to build his lessons. 

"My favorite thing to do at the working area is the pole climb challenge," Logsdon said.

"Then we did the pull-up station," Kurtz said.

Project Fit is in 1,000 schools throughout the U.S., but this award stands out as it goes to a teacher in a state commonly ranked among the unhealthiest in the nation.

"It's a bigger thing than what I realized initially," Sweeney said.

Sweeney will spend the next year traveling throughout Kentucky teaching other PE teachers his ways. 

"It's fun, so they don't realize how much of a workout they're getting until the end and they come in the next day saying they're sore or tired or something like that," Sweeney said.

He's one teacher, trying to change the community around him, one workout at a time. 

Hardin Memorial Hospital donated the equipment for the Project Fit program at Lincoln Trail Elementary.

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