Newark students get fit and healthy with the NFL

From my experience as a middle school student and teacher, I found that some of the best motivators for kids are professional athletes. Whether it's the "awe" factor of a "celebrity", the fear of someone that large not being happy if you slack off, or just the individual dreams to be like them someday, an athlete is inspiring. That's why I love coming across stories about professional athletes "paying it forward" with kids, hoping to inspire health, fitness and a desire to motivate others:

One hundred lucky students from 10 Newark schools have been chosen to be health and fitness ambassadors and who better to teach and motivate them than NFL players ( I know I wouldn't want to slack off with them around!)

As part of a Fuel Up to Play initiative with the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council(ADADC), the NFL is hoping to encourage youth to take charge of their own health by getting exercise and eating right.
Giants’ defensive tackle Barry Cofield and Jets’ wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery took students through physical fitness training at Giant's Stadium and also had them try different healthy school lunch options including string cheese and yogurt.

The Fuel Up to Play program is hoping that teachers, parents and local businesses will come together in community outreach as well. One of the long term goals is to set up a playground at West Side Park in Newark, sponsored by the Jets.

For more information on the Fuel Up to Play and ADADC initiative, contact
Brenda Beltram, American Dairy Association

Photo courtesy of The Graubard Group
PHOTO CAPTION: Jerricho Cotchery, wide receiver for the New York Jets, helps teach Newark, N.J. middle-school students football exercises at Giants Stadium as part of a nation-wide kick-off for "Fuel Up to Play," a joint initiative of the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council and the National Football League. The 100 students in attendance represent ten schools, with Newark being one of four cities chosen as pilot markets for this program.

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