Tuesday, May 14, 2013


NFL's PLAY 60 Youth Football Festival 2013
I had the opportunity to take my son to a very special event surrounding NFL Draft Day a couple of weeks ago.  It was the NFL's PLAY 60 Youth Football Festival at the Chelsea Waterside Park next to Chelsea Piers.

PLEASE NOTE:  This opportunity was given to me by the good folks at volunteerspot.com, who asked me to attend the event on their behalf.  They are compensating me for my time and expense.  However, my opinion of the event is not connected to that compensation.)
The NFL's Play 60 campaign is part of the NFL's long standing commitment to health and wellness for kids. Originally designed to help tackle the problem of childhood obesity, the NFL has committed more than $250 million (in programming, grants, and media time) to youth health and fitness initiatives since 2007. Since they've launched, they've had programs in 77,000 schools nationwide.
Kids going long for a pass.
Part of the program is to get kids to pledge to "Play 60" minutes of exercise everyday. For this event, the NFL was running a series of football clinics for kids ages 6-16. These fast paced drills ended with a 6 minute football game, where kids tried to score as many touchdowns as they could in 3 minutes, and then the team switched sides. It was great fun to watch (My son, being 4.5, didn't quite make the age cut-off. But he had a lot of fun watching the kids, run, throw, and play)

One of the most interesting partner programs with a booth was the Play 60 Invention Contest. The NFL is trying to tap the creativity of kids and is asking them to create fitness-focused games and/or design their own play equipment or football-themed training gear.

Once all of the ideas have been sifted, through, three finalists will be selected to meet with NFL players and league executives and finally a GRAND PRIZE winner will be selected. The Grand Prize is $5,000 along with an NFL prize pack, but most importantly, the winner will get to work with the NFL to make your invention happen!

While I was there, they were showing kids how to mash two ideas together. You'd pick one activity from one pile, one from another, and then try to do them both at the same time.  We picked Football Touchdown Dance and Play Frisbee.  We didn't quite nail it on our first try, but we'll keep on trying!

Some of the ideas being invented on the spot.
   I was really impressed by some of the ideas I saw in the short time I was there, and I'll be very interested to see what some of the kids dream up.

To find out more about the contest and enter, you can go to http://www.nflrush.com/invent.  The contest is open to kids ages 6-13, and the entry period ends on July 12.

FREE STUFF ALERT! If you'd like a free NFL Play60 poster for your kid, Email info@bkfk.com with your mailing address to request one.
You must be over 13 to make the request!

There were also some booths with information and fun activities from some of the NFL's other partners.  The Referee Officiating Academy was showing kids how to make penalty flags.  A Helmet company had a display of helmet safety.  And there were some football toss games for kids to try their hand at.

We had our picture taken with
Got Milk was also there (for whom I have been a spokesperson in the past.) They were giving out milk moustaches (and photos of kids with milk moustaches) and asking kids to remember to eat healthy, which is part of their project Fuel Up To Play 60.

Under Armour was there giving away t-shirts and showing off a new brand of cleats and shoes. They were also conducting polls, and the most popular shoes and shirts that kids voted on would go into production.
Rush Zone on NickToons
Another booth was for a television show I had never heard of called RUSH ZONE, SEASON OF THE GUARDIANS, which is an animated show that appears on NickToons and features 32 superheroes that suspiciously take on the qualities of the 32 NFL football teams, with a giant robot alien/science fiction bent.  It looked pretty well done, and my son went gaga over the stickers of characters he's never heard of.

We had our own 60 minutes of exercise that day, although it wasn't particularly play.  We drove down to Chelsea Piers after school, thinking we'd bite the bullet and park in one of the 7 paid lots nearby (Street parking in New York is really a blood sport). Unfortunately,  every lot nearby was completely full up, and so we ended up parking on 6th Avenue, and walking just about a mile up and a mile back.  (And it should be said, my son also played on the very cool playground after the event)  Looking at the local street parking signs, we really should have come down at 5:30 and waited in the car until 6-- then there was plenty of FREE street parking right around there.  And the event ran until 7 pm.

Ah well.  We did get 2 miles of walking in, anyway!

 So we're on our way to the Play 60 pledge!

All in all it was a lot of fun!

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