May 6, 2014
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – On Saturday at the Walter Payton Center, Wildcats and Bears taught students across the state the importance of eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Sixteen Northwestern student-athletes representing three sports, in addition to Willie and the NU Spirit Squad took part in the NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60 community event at a reward summit at the Walter Payton Center, the Chicago Bears indoor training facility at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill.
Twelve members of the Northwestern fencing team were at the event, including freshmen Julia Abelsky, Stephanie Chan, Alisha Gomez-Shah, Alex Kain, Sarit Kapon, Cindy Oh and Ania Parzecki, sophomores Mikela Goldstein, Charlotte Sands, Kaitlyn Wallace, Jen Yamin and junior Tina Umanskiy.
Freshman diver Reed Dillon and senior Tim Smith represented the ‘Cats men’s swimming program and sophomores Jennifer Korn and Natalie Cikos of women’s soccer all gave back for the ‘Cats.
“The event was so much fun. I wish that when I was in grade school they had programs like Fuel Up to Play 60 that offered these great opportunities,” Korn said. “I'm a huge Bears fan and thought that it was so cool that the kids got to run drills in the Bears' facility and meet some players. The kids were super pumped to be there and the whole event was filled with high energy because of their excitement.”
Elementary, middle and high school students from across Illinois who have actively been a part of the NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign, sponsored by Midwest Dairy were rewarded with a trip to train with the Wildcat student-athletes and the Chicago Bears.
“I had a lot of fun. There was a lot of energy and it was pretty cool to hang out with some of the Bears players. They made it easy for me at least,” Smith said. “Getting the kids involved was really important. They were all so enthusiastic. They were all really into it and I think they realized how special it was.”
The Wildcats helped run the clinic, where students from all over Illinois took part in running, passing and catching drills in addition to 40-yard dashes and the shuttle run.
Veteran offensive lineman Roberto Garza and safety Craig Steltz represented the Bears.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is the collaborative in-school wellness program supported by dairy farmers, from the National Dairy Council and the NFL, now in 73,000 schools- empowering students to make healthy food choices, including low-fat and fat-free dairy, and to be active 60 minutes a day. It has grown to reach 3,800 schools in Illinois with 1.9 million students in the state participating in the program.
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