Titans Encourage Students to 'Fuel Up to Play 60' at Area Schools

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans defensive backs Jason McCourty, Coty Sensabaugh and George Wilson recently visited students at HG Hill Middle School to encourage students to 'Fuel Up' with healthy foods so they can get up and be active for 60 minutes a day.

The NFL Play 60 campaign is designed to tackle childhood obesity by getting kids active through in-school, afterschool and team-based programs. The Southeast Dairy Association and the Titans work together to help make wellness part of the game plan in Tennessee schools through the NFL's Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign, which encourages schools to make healthy changes in students' eating habits and physical activity.

Jason McCourty, George Wilson and Coty Sensabaugh Fuel up to Play 60 with students at H.G. Middle School in Nashville. (Photos: Joshua Love, Gary Glenn)

The NFL Fuel Up to Play 60/Titans Hometown Grant program focuses on priority school districts in the Tennessee Titans market.  The NFL has committed $10,000 to Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Titans are providing five hometown grants of $2,000 to five Metro-Davidson county schools to improve access to healthy eating and physical activity initiatives.

"It means a lot to me to be able to reach out to kids all across Tennessee and spread the message about Fueling Up to Play 60 and the importance of dairy products to help build up their bodies," said McCourty, who partnered as an ambassador with the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association earlier this year. "It's good that they can hear this message from a different perspective of a pro athlete to help drive home the message they're getting from their parents and school teachers."

Many schools lack the resources to execute school wellness. That's why the Southeast Dairy Association, on behalf of dairy farmer families, is proud to provide opportunities for Fuel Up to Play 60 schools to write grants to enhance wellness plans in their schools.

The funds from the hometown grants can be utilized in many ways to optimize healthy eating and physical activity based on local needs and interests, including vending machine wraps to support smart snacking, improving school breakfasts/summer feeding programs and purchasing physical activity equipment.

"We are excited about the opportunity to expand the Fuel Up To Play 60 program in Tennessee schools through this Fuel UP to Play 60 Tennessee Titans Home Town Grant," said Joan Benton, manager of school health and wellness with Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. "Healthy students are better students, which is what Fuel Up To Play 60 is all about! The program, launched by the National Dairy Council and the NFL is focused on getting students to 'fuel up' with nutrient-rich foods like low-fat and fat-free milk, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and to "get up and play" for 60 minutes a day."

McCourty is thrilled about the impact he and and his teammates are able to make as NFL players.

"It's been awesome to be able to talk about the importance of all of these things -- making sure kids understand the importance of dairy products -- and spreading that message as a partner with Play 60 and Dairy is amazing," McCourty said. "I've been able to touch a lot more people than I ever could have imagined.

"I know growing up I was huge into sports - basketball and football," McCourty continued. "To have a guy who's playing in the NFL come to my school talking about being active, getting your schoolwork done, listening to your teachers and parents, and doing the right thing would have meant a lot coming from their perspective knowing they did the same things growing up. To go around the schools and talk about this has been a really cool experience."

"It's programs like this that allow us to make a true impact in our community," said Titans Director of Marketing Brad McClanahan. "Schools will use these additional resources to help children across the state continue to learn about eating healthy and the benefits of playing 60 minutes every day."

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 60 minutes a day.  New research shows that better nutrition starting with breakfast, coupled with increased physical activity, can lead to better academic achievement.

Whether you are a parent, educator or friend, you can have a positive influence and make a difference in a child's life by encouraging them to eat well and play for 60 minutes a day.

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