Tennessee Titan players paid a visit Tuesday to Lipscomb Elementary, one of 34 schools to receive the NFL Play 60 grant.
Tennessee Titan players Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jason McCourty, Coty Sensabaugh, Kamerion Wimbley, George Wilson and Nate Washington paid a visit to Lipscomb Elementary on Tuesday.
Lipscomb is one of 34 schools to receive a $10,000 NFL Play 60 grant, which is part of the Play 60 campaign launched to teach kids the importance of getting 60 minutes of exercise daily.
By 9:30 a.m., Lipscomb’s kindergarten and first grade classes lined up outside the front entrance, some clutching homemade signs, to welcome the players.
Defensive end Kamerion Wimbley, 30, was involved with the Play 60 program when he played for the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns. He said he was excited to participate again with the Titans.
“I think it’s important for kids to be aware of the benefits of exercise and nutrition, especially with the issues of obesity and self-confidence in school systems,” Wimbley said. “This is positive and uplifting, and kids can use this to make themselves feel better.”
P.E. instructors Joey Taylor and Brenda Vroon applied for the grant in the fall and were required to write three essays, explaining how Lipscomb shows NFL pride.
As a recipient of the Play 60 grant, Lipscomb will be able to purchase new equipment for physical education classes.
“Our goal is to have every child have their own piece of equipment, and for no one to be sitting around,” Vroon said.
Taylor and Vroon named basketballs, volleyballs, a volleyball net and lacrosse sticks among the equipment they will be able to purchase for students.
After a warm welcome, second, third, fourth and fifth graders gathered in the gym plastered with multiple signs of thanks and support for the Titans for an assembly with the players.
Several guests from administration joined students in the audience including school board members Pat Anderson, Bobby Hullett and Cherie Hammond, Superintendent Mike Looney and Brentwood Mayor Betsy Crossley.
Representatives from the state parks department opened the assembly, telling students that Tennessee’s 56 state parks offer an array of physical activities to stay fit including hiking, canoeing and rock climbing.
After Titans Mascot T-Rac made an appearance, students had some Q&A time with the players.
When asked how many hours each week a Titan works out, McCourty said the team puts in about 15 hours of exercise each week to stay in form.
He also said school played a significant part in his becoming a football player.
“Growing up, my mom was strict. To play, I had to have As or Bs,” he said. “Learning to do things as a team at school helped me later playing football,” he said.
Afterward, the Titans as well as a few Titans cheerleaders stayed for a workout session with the fifth graders, who spent the next hour lifting weights, jumping rope and tossing footballs with six of Tennessee’s team.
Jessica Pace covers Williamson County, Williamson County Schools and the Town of Nolensville for BrentWord Communications. Contact her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @Jess_Marie_Pace.