News: MCB Hawaii hosts NFL Play 60 event
Story by Lance Cpl. Vanessa American Horse
The NFL Play 60 Community Blitz was hosted at Pop Warner Field here Jan. 27. The goal of the challenge is to help achieve an active and healthy generation, by encouraging kids to play for 60 minutes every day in order to tackle childhood obesity, according to Tiffany Robertson, NFL Play 60 representative.
Families lined up early to be one of the 150 children included for the event.
“We knew their would be a lot of people here,” said Marine spouse Jennifer O’Brien. “My kids are so excited, but I’m jealous. I wish I could participate.”
Parents watched their children run a series of drills from the grand stands. The children were separated by age group and rotated through stations with different activities at each one.
NFL players Stephen Jackson, St. Louis Rams, John Denney, Miami Dolphins, Devin McCourty, New England Patriots and Javon “The Freak” Kearse, Tennessee Titans, worked with volunteers to run drills.
“I love participating in this event because the kids have so much fun. I have fun, too. The kids wear me out but it feels great to be able to give back to military families,” Jackson said.
Passing, blocking, push-up and agility courses were just some of the events. An air-horn blew, signaling time to rotate to the next station and the groups huddled up to yell “Play 60!”
“I’m having a great time with my friends,” said Longview, Texas native Janay B. Brown, 12. “It’s really cool to see the players and do something different on base.”
Meanwhile in the stands, cheerleaders signed autographs for spectators and parents cheered for their children.
New Orleans Saints “Gumbo” and Indianapolis Colts mascot “Blue” joined in on the action by playing with the children. The children attempted to tackle them but were unsuccessful.
“[The mascots] are so big,” said participant and Dallas Cowboys fan Reyko M. Everett, 8. “I think we should just tackle the cheerleaders.”
Afterwards, players posed for photos and signed autographs on the free T-shirts given to participants.
“This is the first year that the NFL has brought this particular event here and it proved to be an entertaining opportunity to share the value of health and fitness with our young family members,” said Deborah Bookatz, marketing director, Marine Corps Community Services. “We hope the NFL will return for a similar event in 2012.”