Military youth win in the (sports) field
August 2, 2013
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - The Army is partnering with the National Football League's "Play 60" campaign to integrate a new football-centered program as a component to promote healthy and resilient lifestyles for Soldiers, Families and their children. The U.S. Army Installation Management Command is introducing the NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick program to all garrison locations this year, with a focus of efforts during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September. Due to the abbreviated season in the Interior, the program was held on Fort Wainwright July 13.
This national football skills competition known as PPK is for boys and girls between 6 and 15 years old. The oldest and largest NFL Youth Football Program was established in 1961 to give youth an opportunity to understand the importance of health and fitness as part of their daily activity.
"The event is divided into five different age classifications for both boys and girls [ages 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15]," said Jeremey Bulyar, assistant youth sports director, Fort Wainwright Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, "as they tried their best to complete the longest punt, pass and place-kick during the competition. We had 30 kids show up but due to the age groups, only 17 were official participants."
Division winners of the Army local competitions qualify for sectional and regional PPK competitions and the top four winners in each age group will receive the opportunity to participate in a PPK exhibition before an NFL game.
Army event coordinators were required to register their local competitions online and in return received program kits from the NFL containing all the necessary required resources and information to make the event successful.
The standings for each age group were as follows: In the 6-7-year-old girls, Amanda Caulillo was first place. Mathew Gordon placed first for the boys in that same age group. For the 8-to-9-year-old girls, Samantha Smith placed first and Jonah Gilbert was first for the boys. In that same age group for the boys, Tony Phillips placed second, Anthony Lebusasco was third, Ryan Nash fourth, Hagen Borchardt fifth, Anthony Ferrie sixth and Austin Dye seventh. In the 10-11-year-old girls' division, Jasmine Burgess placed first while Columbus Jones claimed the top spot for the boys. Travon Phillips finished second and Adam Richard was third. Zoe Huffman was first among the 12--13-year-old girls and Faith Burgess finished first for the 14-15-year-old girls.
Army installations will continue to host PPK events annually as a component of the Army's efforts to promote healthy and resiliency.
For more information on the Fort Wainwright events call Bulyar at 590-2010 or visit www.nflppk.com.