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Salute To Service Play 60 Challenge Begins!


The challenge with most fitness programs is getting participants to stick with the regimen past the initial introduction.

That task no easier for children, who are frequently more susceptible to the routine of their environment than adults.

The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation recognized this in planning the "Salute To Service Play 60 Military Challenge," and brought some celebrity trainers along to hammer home the point.

Joined by Tanya Snyder, Redskins general manager Bruce Allen and his wife Kiersten, as well as players Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, Joshua Morgan, Josh Wilson, Darryl Tapp, Darrel Young, Logan Paulsen, Bryan Kehl, Jerome Murphy, John Potter, Adam Gettis and Nick Williams, the Redskins convened on Joint Base Andrews with the Department of Defense, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, as well as USAA and the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association for the kickoff fitness lifestyle event.

This initiative is part of the NFL's larger Play 60 campaign, which fights childhood obesity by encouraging youth to get active for at least 60 minutes a day.

This is one of the biggest events the Redskins will do in the community during the season, and drew huge support with both the health and military elements.

"I think being able to show the military that we support them in all that they do, in any little way, is extremely important," said tight end Logan Paulsen. "It's also cool to have the nutrition element, because that's something a lot of people forget. Everyone remembers that you need to exercise, but nutrition is critical to being healthy. I was really happy that was a component of today's event.

"This opportunity today was very special to me and I hope it was also special for the kids."

Working on behalf of the Department of Defense and Military Services to encourage youth physical fitness and overall wellness, the "Salute to Play 60 Military Challenge" serves as a vehicle to get more than 500 children of military families from 13 installations in the capital region to track their daily activity for four weeks.

Children with the highest involvement will be honored for their participation during a 2013 Redskins home game.

"We applaud the effort of the Washington Redskins for promoting healthy initiatives like the Play 60 Challenge, in support of the military children and their families," said Lindy Singleton, Capt., USAF Public Affairs. "On behalf of the Department of Defense, I give a shout out thank you for your community spirit and goodwill, not only in the National Capital region, but beyond, across the United States.

"You have touched our children's lives forever and we are deeply, deeply honored to participate with you."

During the kickoff event, Redskins players and cheerleaders led teams of children through a gauntlet of action-packed Play 60 challenges, including tests of agility, speed, catching and throwing.

In addition, the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association staffed nutrition stations to teach participants how to eat right and live a healthy lifestyle.

Redskins general manager Bruce Allen helped put the entire event in perspective, pointing out what a simple gesture it is to give back to the military community that gives the NFL the ability to exist.

"Kids, you're going to get to meet and get to know our players." Allen said. "You all look at them as heroes, but I want you to know that the Redskins organization look at your parents and your mentors as our heroes.

"We thank you for everything your family has done for America."

Redskins fullback Darrel Young has a brother, David, in the Army, and is the uncle to David's two children.

Young is a familiar face at community events, particularly military-related, but today held a special meaning for him.

"Today was just fun. It was an opportunity to come out and play around with kids, military kids especially," Young said. "I know what it's like for them to be away from their families, so any time I can come out and be a role model for them, it's a blast."

Running around with the kids today, Young saw the faces of his 12-year-old nephew and 9-year-old niece.

"I actually do," he said with a grin. "He's been away four times, his wife has been away as well, so my brother's kids know what it's like to have parents away from their family. It's tough on them. It's a different lifestyle.

"You miss a little bit of the kid's life, the kids miss their parents, so just to come out and take their minds off of what their parents do every day—it's just important to do it."




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