Two Washington Redskins players stopped by Godwin Middle School today to present school officials with a $10,000 NFL Play 60 grant to fund intramural athletic programs at the school.
While at the school, defensive lineman Chris Baker and rookie running back Alfred Morris took some time to talk to the assembled students about the importance of exercise and proper diets, and challenge them to exercise 60 minutes a day as part of the NFL Play 60 program.
"Child obesity is really big in the United States nowadays," Baker said. "In order for you guys to be great athletes, you have to eat well. You have to exercise every day. To become an NFL athlete or a professional athlete, you have to be at the top of your game at all times. You have to eat vegetables, you have to eat turkey instead of pork, you have to eat chicken--healthy chicken--like the breast. It's good for you! Sorry, guys."
Morris took the microphone to the students, asking them what kind of exercise was their favorite, and saying that when he was a child, "You had to force us to stay inside. We were always outside, playing with friends--football, basketball, foursquare."
Godwin Middle School is the only school in Prince William County to win this grant from the NFL Play 60 program, thanks to the efforts of Health and Physical Education Teacher Tim Miller, who applied for the grant. Miller noticed that though Godwin offered a variety of sports, 66 percent of students did not take part in any of the sports programs.
"As a male P.E. teacher, I notice all the male students going through the locker room, and I kept seeing the same faces over and over again," he said. "We have all of these sports, but how many of the students are multiple sport players? The only sports we have Junior Varsity in are boys and girls basketball. If I could create an intramural program that was not competitive, these kids wouldn't have to worry about it."
With the grant, Miller will be able to work with the school to develop such an intermural program.
Baker and Morris were happy to volunteer to talk to the students at Godwin.
"Growing up, we always dreamed of being an NFL player or a professional sports player, so any time I have the time to give back, I always do," Baker told Patch. He praised the NFL Play 60 program for addressing the problem of child obesity. "I grew up as a big kid, but I was a big athletic kid. If I wasn't athletic, I don't know how I would look or how I would be."
Morris said that talking in front of crowds made him nervous, but he loved passing around the microphone and interacting with the kids.
"You always love it more when you're a part of it than when you're just sitting there saying, 'Oh, we got to listen to him talk,'" he said.
Morris said he was thankful for the positive guiding influences when he was growing up.
"I have a big heart, especially for kids," Morris told Patch. "So many negative influences going on in our communities. Any chance I get to do anything with kids, you know, I go out and do it, even on an off day. I don't mind at all."