Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
The sounds of children cheering filled the gymnasium of John Haley Elementary as the Dallas Cowboys Rookie Club presented a Futbol Americano Play 60 Youth Clinic and Fuel Up to Play 60 on Sep. 18. The event, designed to introduce the team’s newest members to the importance of giving back, was part of the National Football League’s annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Rookie players kicked off the event with a nutritional pep rally before heading outdoors to lead students through a variety of physical activities and drills. The National Football League’s Play 60 initiative hopes to tackle childhood obesity and inspire kids to play well and eat better.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our kids,” vice principal Chris Born said. “To be chosen by the Dallas Cowboys to come out and do this for us is a once in a lifetime experience, that I hope they will never forget.
“We teach a lot of nutritional education in our P.E. classes. Most if not all of our kids know the value of nutrition and activity.”
Sarah Beth Ghozali, a dietician with Dairy Max, spoke about the need for youngsters to have fun while being active.
“Today we are introducing kids to ways of staying fun and healthy all the time,” Ghozali said. “So the Fuel Up to Play 60 program is one of the leading school nutrition and physical activity programs nationwide. It is a collaboration between the National Dairy Council and the National Football League, and today we have paired together with United Health.
“We are introducing the kids to new ways to stay active and healthy while having fun. Obviously, the kids have had a great time today. We are very excited to see how interested they are in staying active and healthy.
“We are incorporating the star power of the Dallas Cowboys players in our messages of eating right and staying healthy. We hope to have an impact on the kids’ lives today and in the future.
We are going to be starting a Fuel Up to Play 60 program at John Haley Elementary, which will help encourage the kids on a daily basis to eat right, study hard and play 60.”
Some information provided by Irving ISD.