Eight Raiders players visited Parkmont Elementary as a reward for winning the NFL Play 60 Spring Challenge.
Eight Raiders players visited Parkmont Elementary in Fremont Calif., as a reward for winning the NFL Play 60 Spring Challenge. The the school's 4th, 5th and 6th grade students averaged a whopping 83 minutes of active/exercise time per day during a four-week span to win the challenge. Conducted in conjunction with the American Heart Association, the NFL Play 60 Challenge is part of continuing efforts to prevent childhood obesity.
"The American Heart Association has been working with the Oakland Raiders on childhood obesity prevention," said Katie Martin, vice president youth market Northern California and Utah for American Heart Association. "Knowing that this could be the first generation in history to not outlive their parents is a super scary thought. It's been a great partnership with the Raiders getting the kids excited about 60 minutes of activity a day. Doing it in a positive way where we have players out here talking about what it means to set goals, eat healthy and find something that they're passionate about, helps them at an early age define activity that they like so they become healthier adults."
T Matt McCants, QB Trent Edwards, RB Jeremy Stewart, TE David Ausberry spoke to the students in the gym. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
T Matt McCants, QB Trent Edwards, RB Jeremy Stewart, TE David Ausberry, DBs Brandian Ross, Shelton Johnson and Usama Young, and LB Miles Burris were greeted by a very large group of screaming students. Ross, Johnson, Young and Burris led one group of students through a Gatorade Junior Training Camp outside, while McCants, Edwards, Stewart and Ausberry spoke to a second group of students in the gymnasium.
The students had the opportunity to go through football drills as well as listen to a presentation about fitness, nutrition and goal-setting.
|Photo by Tony Gonzales|
"It was an awesome day. We wanted to reward hard work, doing everything right, playing 60 minutes a day," McCants said. "The main key points were to make sure you eat right, make sure you play 60 minutes every day, and make sure you're getting a nutritious meal. The energy was high, we wanted to show the kids that we were excited to be here and that we're proud of them for winning the competition."
Interacting with the players was a reward for their Play 60 efforts, but also motivation to continue their healthy activities.
"The Play 60 program is so beneficial. A lot of the kids were running around, they knew how to carry the football, they were enthusiastic. They were excited just to have us out there. The NFL has a great program," Young said. "Early on in my career I always tried to get out and about and do something in the community. Now, I see myself as one of the veterans and I try to bring out some of the younger guys and encourage them to make a difference in the community. To have all these guys come out is something big to me. For the Raiders, in that locker room, you see it, everybody is about giving back."
Parkmont's physical education teachers are proud of their students for winning the NFL Play 60 Spring Challenge.
"As soon as we told the kids what entailed physical activity then that kind of started the ball rolling," said Parkmont physical education teacher Bryan Accurso. "It fed like wildfire, before we knew it we were in the lead. Kids got competitive with each other. I am extremely proud. We're just the facilitators. This is all the students' hard work, and the teachers for helping organize it within the classroom."
Young, Johnson, Ross and Burris had the kids running around outside, while McCants, Edwards, Stewart and Ausberry spoke to the students about the importance of eating healthy, exercise and setting goals. The four NFL veterans reinforced the messages by relaying their personal experiences with their take on nutrition, working out and realizing their dreams.
"This is great. Fan or no fan, any time you get individuals within the professional setting to come out and spend their time with the kids, it's something the kids are always going to remember," Accurso added. "It's outstanding, I'm really happy that the Raiders were able to come out and do this for us."