April 18, 2014
by Jocelyn Vinoya Serranilla
Fuel Up To Play 60 Photo Gallery
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Senior baseball captain Jack Quigley threw a perfect pitch to students at suburban River Trails Middle School, urging them to eat fruits and vegetables and to exercise. “It is important to take care of your body,” he said. “You have to make a commitment to eat healthy and work hard.”
“Who among you here eats spinach?” Quigley asked, undeterred by the crowd’s reaction. He went on to share his childhood memory of his parents feeding him spinach, broccoli, green beans, carrots, and an assortment of fruits at dinnertime, and finishing off each meal with a glass of milk. “I eat spinach. A lot of you guys probably think I’m crazy but I like spinach. It’s very good.”
“You name it, I probably ate it,” said Quigley, who visited the middle school in Mt. Prospect on April 17 to promote healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle under the program, Fuel Up To Play 60. Fellow Northwestern Wildcats, sophomore field hockey midfielder/forward Lena Phillips and senior catcher Paige Tonz of the softball team attended the morning assembly with Quigley.
The trio’s school visit aims to promote and reiterate the message among elementary school-aged children that it is important to eat nutritious meals and to get involved in physical activity at least 60 minutes a day. Quigley said that healthy habits of eating fruits and vegetables, and drinking milk continue to help him as an athlete.
After the school’s general assembly in the gymnasium, the children were led to different stations where they participated in activities such as yoga, crossfit, and playing drums. Quigley, Phillips and Tonz took the time to grab some sticks to try their skills on playing drums to the beat of “Pompeii” by the British rock band Bastille. As the music blared, the three athletes laughed with the crowd as they beat the red and blue drums.
Fuel Up To Play 60 is an in-school wellness program launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League (NFL), with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In Illinois, local support comes from the Midwest Dairy Council, the Chicago Bears and, now, the Northwestern Wildcats.
Maureen Palchak, Assistant A.D. for Community Relations said, “We are excited to be involved in such a positive, interactive message through a really fun and established program of Fuel Up To Play 60. It’s been great and we look forward to continuing and growing it next year and more years to come.”
Robin Brown, a registered dietitian and director of health and wellness for the Midwest Dairy Council explained that in the Chicago area, Northwestern Athletics and the Midwest Dairy Council have recently partnered to support three local schools as pilot programs for Fuel Up To Play 60, namely Miguel Juarez Middle School and Hyde Park Elementary School, both in Waukegan, and Hawthorn Middle School in Vernon Hills.
“This is the first time that we’ve ever had collegiate athletes get actively involved in Fuel Up To Play 60 in an ongoing basis,” Brown said, noting that Northwestern is the first university in the U.S. to support the program as an active partner.
“The Midwest Dairy Council and Northwestern Athletics have a great partnership and we will continue with this partnership moving forward. Northwestern athletes have visited schools and classrooms, talked to students about healthy eating, shared their experiences about their sports and showed how they prepare to compete for their sports just to encourage kids to stay active,” said Brown.
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