By Alice Woods and Kelsey Braun
Before you head out to play you have to fuel up to make it last all day. Fuel Up to Play 60 is a nutrition program sponsored by the NFL, that encourages kids to eat healthy, and get at least an hour of exercise a day. Currently Jamesville-DeWitt High School is in the process of piloting the high school program.
According to J-DHS’s John Goodson, the director of health, PE and athletics, said the Fuel Up to Play 60 Program is affiliated with the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, the National Football League, and the American Dairy Program.
The Fuel Up to Play 60’s website’s statistics show that the program has reached 38 million students in around 73,000 schools across the country. Mr. Goodson explained that J-D is the first school in New York State to be in this program, and that we were selected based on our sports reputation; ”we are at the state competitions quite a bit and we advance in regionals pretty well.”
In this program there are six different steps that schools take to become a touchdown school, which means that they are committed to improving the health and wellness of their students. J-DHS has been in this program since the start of the winter sports season and has started the six-step-process. According to Mr. Goodson, J-DHS has completed five of six steps to become a touchdown school: joined the league, had the kick off meeting, built the teams and drafted the players. Mr. Goodson is working on step six, “I don’t think we have the designation of a touchdown school yet.” According to Mr. Goodson, in order to complete step six, “lighting up the score board,” both of J-DHS’s participating teams must put together a presentation about Fuel Up to Play 60, and present to the middle schoolers.
The three teams that are participating in the program this season are the Varsity Girls Basketball Team and the Varsity Girls and Boys Indoor Track and Field Team. The captain of the Girls Track and Field Team, senior Patrece Martin explains that most students do not take this program seriously. “The meetings were really informative they just told us how to eat better with our nutrition and they gave us tips on how to maximize our energy,” said Martin. However, Martin believes that the follow up aspect of Fuel Up to Play 60 is unlikely for students to complete.
The idea of Fuel up to Play 60, is to find something to eat before playing for 60 minutes. Fuel up to play 60 has what they call a playbook, which is filled with plays, that are interesting ways for teams to make healthy choices.“Every week, we are supposed to do a play,” said Mr. Goodson. So far in J-DHS’s Varsity Girls Basketball team and Indoor Track team’s playbook they have had a kickoff meeting, team pasta dinners, meetings with a nutritionist, and team trips to Wegmans where they analyze their menu to find healthy options. Another point of the playbook is developing healthier choices in J-DHS’s Snack Shack, and presenting the plays to the middle schoolers says Mr. Goodson.
The captain of the Boys Track and Field Team, senior Austin Philleo thought differently about the program. He was unsure if he liked it or not. “Its really kind of hard to tell [if I enjoy this program] because we just started it,” said Philleo. Philleo and the Boys Track Team’s play last week was enjoying a healthy meal before they went to practice.
A corresponding program Play 60 encourages students to play and be active for 60 minutes. The difference between Fuel up to Play 60 and Play 60 is that Fuel up to Play 60 encourages kids to eat nutritional food before being active and Play 60 does not.