It was a Thursday afternoon at Hudson Middle/Elementary schools in Hudson, NC, but the environment felt more like a Sunday in October at Bank of America stadium in uptown Charlotte! As I walked into the Hudson Middle School gym, the noise was deafening, the excitement was electric, and nearly 1,000 students, teachers and spectators packed the facility awaiting their well deserved pep rally with the Carolina Panthers.
How did these students earn a Carolina Panthers pep rally? Hudson Elementary School won Caldwell County School District’s Fuel Up to Play 60 challenge for healthy eating and physical activity, sponsored by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League, by having over 650 students participate in FUTP60, more than any other school in the state. For the win, they got to participate in an afternoon of game playing, dancing, and fun.
Cheers and excitement rang out with the entrance of Sir Purr, Graham Gano and Kenjon Barner.
As President of the North Carolina Dietetic Association (NCDA), I was given the opportunity to be one of the judges for Carolina Panthers Jeopardy, where students and teachers battled out the answers to physical activity and nutrition questions. Gano and Barner participated in the game, each leading a team. They also assisted in an obstacle course for the students and a student-teacher dance off.
The fun ended with a check presentation to Caldwell County Schools from FUTP60 to help implement fitness and nutrition programs throughout their 22 schools. The money will be used to enhance walking trails, buy physical activity equipment, and improve the nutritional value of the student breakfast and lunch programs.
What a fantastic way to get students engaged in physical activity and healthy eating. This was an awesome event that will continue to inspire and motivate kids to play 60 and fuel up with nutrient rich foods.
A special thanks to the Carolina Panthers, Southeast United Dairy Industry Association and Fuel Up to Play 60 for making this event possible. The NCDA’s mission is “optimizing North Carolina’s health through food and nutrition” and we cannot be more proud of these groups for sharing in this mission and supporting the future of North Carolina students by helping them start with school breakfast and fitness programs!
Paul Moore, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D is the North Carolina Dietetic Association (NCDA) President for the 2013-2014 member year. He was awarded the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year for the NCDA in 2011-2012 and the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year in 2012-2013. Paul currently serves on the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group’s (WM DPG) Executive Committee as the editor for the newsletter, Weight Management Matters. Paul is also a continuing education (CEU) provider for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA). Follow Paul @fitness4pros on Twitter