NFL Play 60: Kids play with the pros
February 7, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - More than 200 children converged on Stoneman Stadium, here, to meet and play with National Football League All-Star football players and cheerleaders, Jan. 27, during the NFL's Play 60 Challenge.
Players and cheerleaders ran football and cheerleading clinics, while the Chicago Bears' mascot, Stanley da Bear, and the Baltimore Ravens' Poe, led warm-ups and kept spectators and volunteers entertained.
"When I found out this was coming here, I got really excited," said Micheal Tori, 10. "I really wanted to meet some of the players."
The NFL and the American Heart Association teamed up to create the NFL Play 60 Challenge - a movement for an active and healthy generation that encourages kids to play for 60 minutes every day to tackle childhood obesity.
"We had a lot of great volunteers, and the kids had a great time," said Kalei Scoggins, special events coordinator, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. "We filled out a quota of 150 children for the football clinic and 70 children for the cheerleading clinic within a week and a half."
Besides visiting Schofield Barracks, players, cheerleaders and mascots also visited Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Tripler Army Medical Center.
"The players were really generous," Scoggins said. "Joe Thomas (defensive tackle with the Cleveland Browns) and Michael Turner (running back with the Atlanta Falcons) took the jerseys off their backs, signed them and donated them to us."
Thomas and Turner were joined, here, by Eric Dickerson, NFL Hall of Fame; Alex Mack, center, Cleveland Browns; Zack Miller, tight end, Oakland Raiders; and Mike Smith, National Football Conference Pro Bowl and Atlanta Falcons coach.
"Being on the military base and getting an opportunity to interact with the kids was a lot of fun," Miller said.
While the football players ran clinics and obstacle courses, cheerleaders gave the participants, here, a sneak peak into their Pro Bowl performances and also taught them parts of their routines.
American Football Conference cheerleaders who participated in the event, here, were Jamie Andreozzi, Baltimore Ravens; Tessa Caccavallo, Indiana Colts; Liz Digrilamo, Kansas City Chiefs; Katie Laczmarek, Buffalo Bills; Mandisa Norward, New York Jets; Sunny Pari, Cincinnati Bangles; and Megan Wessels, Houston Texans.
"The best part about doing this is getting to talk to all the girls," Laczmarek said.
Fellow AFC cheerleader Andreozzi, echoed Laczmarek's comment.
"Just seeing how enthusiastic the kids are to see us and learn from us is why I do events like this," she said, while signing autographs.A-"A?
View more photos on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usag-hi/sets/72157625837234805/.