Responsibility is the key to any football player's life and livelihood.
Responsibility to your craft, to teammates, coaching staff and yourself. Responsibility in the film room and locker room, and especially responsibility on the gridiron.
But today's Play60 Mini Combine at Redskins Park was about the responsibility of role models to enrich the lives of their fans, a responsibility approached with more urgency than a 2-minute drill.
"It’s not only an honor, it’s a responsibility for me to come out here and give back to the area that I’m from and just put a smile on these kids’ faces," outside linebacker and Virginia-native
The event was held inside the team's indoor practice facility at Redskins Park and featured six stations of football, nutrition and generally fun activities. The event was hosted by the Redskins Charitable Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, and brought together students from all over the greater Washington, D.C. area.
Students participating in the mini-combine were selected through schools participating in Kaiser Permanente’s new online program, “Thriving Schools: A Partnership for Healthy Students, Staff and Teachers!” Thriving Schools promotes student-focused initiatives like improving school lunches and increasing opportunities for physical activity.
By helping students, staff and teachers focus on making healthy choices, Thriving Schools helps schools become a focal point and beacon of health throughout entire communities.
Stations were manned by representatives from the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association staff, as student groups were led by Redskins players
The players were just having fun out on the field but the message was clear to the students: fitness and physical activity should be fun.
"We’re out there just trying to have fun, just trying to give back to the community," Young told Redskins.com. "Both Joshes are from here, Alfred and I are from different states, but we just try to bring in the mindset of having D.C. fun."
Students were challenged with stretching drills, sprints, hopping, catching, throwing, obstacle courses and nutrition for a hollistic presentation.
"Kaiser Permanente is committed to empowering communities in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland with the tools to make healthy choices,” said Maritha Gay, Senior Director of External Affairs, Kaiser Permanente. “We are excited to connect children from local elementary schools with athletes and those who lead healthy lifestyles."
For Redskins players like Niles Paul, it was an opportunity to reconnect with the fan base and step away from the pressure of preparing for Philadelphia on Sunday.
"This is enjoyable for me to do. It’s our day off and I don’t know what I’d do with a day off," Paul said. "So to be presented with an opportunity like this, it’s something I couldn’t pass up."