This afternoon, the Redskins Charitable Foundation joined forces with Commonwealth Orthopaedics, DePuy Mitek, Inc. and Safe Kids Worldwide to host the Redskins Play 60 Mini-Combine at Redskins Park.
More than 100 Sterling Middle School students roamed the turf at the Redskins indoor practice facility, learning about injury prevention, physical fitness and fitness safety from current Redskins players and doctors.
The theme may have been football-related, but the message from the players was much broader: enjoy being active, every single day.
“We’re just out here having fun with the kids,” Morris said. “Get them moving, get them active—that’s what Play 60 is all about. Get 60 minutes of exercise a day and you’ll live a happier, healthier life.”
Morris, a 2012 sixth-round draft pick, grew up with six brothers and remembers competing in everything from basketball to archery in his neighborhood.
“These kids remind me of myself when I was younger, looking up to someone doing positive things in the community,” he said. “I had that when I was growing up, and to be able to give back what I received is huge. It definitely does my heart some good, and I love the kids.”
Each player in attendance agreed with Morris that the biggest detriment to healthy habits is our the sedentary lifestyles at an early age
“Technology, video games and the Internet are adding up to kids not being as active as they once were,” Morris said. “I know when I was a kid you couldn’t pay me to stay in the house.
“Now, when you go outside, it’s rare to see kids out in the neighborhood.”
Students cycled through the stations in groups, including stretching with Chris Baker, learning about concussion prevention from Redskins doctors Dr. Christopher Annunziata and Dr. Andrew Parker, running obstacle courses with Darrel Young, and hitting tackle dummies with Tyler Polumbus.
“Growing up, I was always in some sort of sport: football, basketball, baseball or soccer, I did it all,” Polumbus said with a grin. “[These kids] forget about how fun it is to play outside your home, and I think that’s what this is about.
“None of this is actually about football; it’s just fun stuff that you can do, and do with your friends at home.”
During the season, NFL players are off on Tuesdays, but seemed to have a great time working out with the kids.
“I try not to sweat a lot on my off day,” Polumbus said. “But this has been a lot of fun.”
After completing the combine, students received a free health and wellness bag full of items such as sunscreen, lip balm, first aid kits, NFL Play 60 eye black, an autographed Redskins photo and more.