NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Students from John Early Museum Magnet Middle School received an early Christmas present from Academy Sports + Outdoors and went Christmas shopping with Titans players and cheerleaders at the Cool Springs location Monday afternoon.
Titans players Jackie Battle, Brett Bracket, Beau Brinkley, Jurrell Casey, Chase Coffman, Zaviar Gooden, Brett Kern, Ropati Pitoitua, Chris Spencer, and Avery Williamson joined Titans cheerleaders Bri, Kate, Hannah, Kiara, Kristen, Jennifer and Whitney for a a shopping spree that brought smiles to the faces everyone involved this Christmas season.
Academy Sports + Outdoors has been a partner of the Titans organization for more than 10 years. The Texas-based company opened its first Tennessee store in 1999 and currently operates 10 stores in the state.
"We are always appreciative of our relationship with Academy Sports + Outdoors," said Stuart Spears, Titans vice president of business operations and sales, "but even more so when we are able to partner with them on occasions such as this. The annual 'Shop with a Titan' event is always a rewarding experience for our players, cheerleaders, and staff."
Titans players and cheerleaders shopped with each child, helping them make their special holiday selections.
"Giving back to active youth in Nashville is a cornerstone of Academy Sports + Outdoors' philosophy," said Tammi Hysell, Academy Sports Outdoors senior director of promotions. "We're excited to partner with the Titans on this annual donation event that displays our commitment to Nashville, the state of Tennessee and the families of Titans fans."
The children were provided nutrient-rich snacks by the Southeast Dairy Association, which works together with the Titans to help make wellness part of the game plan in Tennessee schools through the "Fuel Up to Play 60" campaign.
Titans players shop with students from John Early Museum Magnet Middle School at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Franklin. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)
The program encourages schools to make healthy changes in students' eating habits and physical activity. Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council, the Southeast Dairy Association and the NFL. It's all about getting students to 'Fuel Up' with nutrient-rich foods missing from their diets like low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and to 'get-up and play' for at least 60 minutes a day.
New research shows that better nutrition starting with breakfast, coupled with increased physical activity can lead to better academic achievement.
"We are thrilled to be a part of the 'Shop with a Titan' event," said SUDIA manager of school health and wellness, Joan Benton. "It is a great opportunity for us to join with another Titan partner, Academy Sports + Outdoors, which shares our belief that healthy students are better students.
As a Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) school, John Early middle was selected to participate in this year's event. Participating children were selected on a variety of criteria, including exceptionally good conduct, academic achievements, reading contests and perfect attendance.
"We are so thankful for this unique opportunity for our students to interact and shop with Titans players and cheerleaders," said Johnsie Holt, lead coordinated school health specialist for metro Nashville public schools. "Thanks to the Titans, SUDIA and Academy Sports + Outdoors, students not only had the freedom to select holiday gifts, but they were also able to spend time with positive, healthy community role models. This is an experience our students will never forget!"
Additionally, Academy Sports + Outdoors will host holiday bike donation events across Tennessee where 180 more students will receive a free bike and helmet. For more information about Academy Sports + Outdoors visit academy.com.