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Fuel Up To Play 60 Kickoff to School Health

Posted September 24th, 2010

On Tuesday, September 28, I’m leading a group at the Fuel Up To Play 60 Kickoff to School Health at Ford Field in Detroit.  The kickoff will highlight the importance of student leadership in creating a healthy school environment where nutrient rich foods and physical activity are top priority.  Approximately 32 schools and 400 students and adults from throughout Michigan will be participating.

It is a really cool event and I’ll be a referee for a school team that consists of 5 middle school students and 5 adults/teachers from their school.

The First Lady is even getting in on the Fuel Up To Play 60 action taking place across the county.  This week, as part of her Let’s Move! initiative to raise a healthier generation of kids, she joined children and NFL players for football drills during a Fuel Up To Play 60 event in New Orleans.

First Lady and the NFL's Fuel Up To PLay 60 program

In addition to the in-school wellness program, the NFL’s Fuel Up To Play 60 also hosts Youth Football Camps, flag football, and more. Go to to learn about events and camps in your area.  If you live in the Detroit area, get on the Summer Youth Football Camp mailing list for next year’s camp schedule.  Email your name, mailing address and phone number to and Play 60!

Here are excerpts from the official Detroit Lions press release about the Fuel Up To Play 60 program and kickoff event at Ford Field. Get your school involved in the Fuel Up To Play 60 program today!

Click here to view the press release in it’s entirety. 

The Michigan Departments of Education and Community Health; United Dairy Industry of Michigan; and the Detroit Lions are joining forces to support the Fuel Up to Play 60 Kickoff to School Health, which highlights Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school wellness program launched by the National Football League and National Dairy Council, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture. Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages kids to “fuel up” with nutrient-rich food choices and “to play 60” by getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Many children are overweight and undernourished—missing out on important nutrients because they are not making the proper food choices. With these health risks, it’s possible that today’s children could become the first American generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Students at the Kickoff will learn healthy eating and physical activity “plays”— action strategies that will help create healthier school environments.

“Students and staff who attend the Kickoff will learn ways to implement these lessons in their own schools by participating in hands-on activities, which we hope will inspire them to eat right, remain active, and encourage others to do so as well,” said Mike Flanagan, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Michigan Department of Education, “Youth are empowered to take action at their schools and develop their own road maps to better fitness and nutrition through Fuel Up to Play 60.”

The Kickoff’s pre-game and first half events include a well-balanced breakfast and an interactive session focused on the link between learning and movement, led by author and international speaker Jean Blaydes Madigan. In addition, rookie attendees will learn all about Fuel Up to Play 60 from “MVP Teams”, schools that implemented the program during the 2009-2010 school year.

Attendees will take the field for “training camp” where Detroit Lions’ Defensive End Kyle Vanden Bosch, Former Pro Bowler Luther Elliss, and the Detroit Lions’ trainers will lead students in NFL drills and skills. At halftime, a “Try It, You’ll Like It” tailgate lunch will encourage teams to sample new healthy menu selections, including whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fruits, and vegetables, and vote on items they think the fans in their school would like best.

During the second half, Go Comedy!, a metro-Detroit professional improvisational group, will perform skits on the importance of good nutrition and engaging in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, and will lead an interactive workshop to help teams prep for Fuel Up to Play 60 Kickoffs and Challenges in their own schools. The day concludes with Detroit Lions’ Kicker, Jason Hanson, and Elliss sharing tips on how professional athletes eat healthy and play hard for optimal performance.

The Fuel Up to Play 60 Kickoff to School Health is designed to inspire and motivate students to take action for their health by moving more and eating smarter, an overall win for Michigan health. For more information, log on to

About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council (NDC) and NFL, with additional partnership support from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. Customizable and non-prescriptive program components are grounded in research with youth, including tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website and student challenges. Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit to learn more. Media resources, including related video footage and photos are available at

About National Dairy Council
National Dairy Council® (NDC) is the nutrition research, education and communications arm of Dairy Management Inc™. On behalf of U.S. dairy farmers, NDC provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier society, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. Established in 1915, NDC is dedicated to educating the public on the health benefits of consuming milk and milk products throughout a person’s lifespan. For more information, visit

About NFL PLAY 60
Designed to help tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL‟s long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations like the National Dairy Council. NFL PLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. For more information, visit