April 11, 2012

By Courtney Boeckman and Megan St Arnauld, Sports Marketing Academy Interns

 

Recently, a handful of Miami University student-athletes have been doing much more than blocking shots, making tackles and scoring goals. The RedHawks have begun to dive in on the action of the Miami Play 30: Swoop into Fitness program, a partnership between Miami University Athletics and Bruce Elementary School.

Inspired by the National Football League movement, NFL Play 60, the objective of this partnership is to utilize Miami University student-athletes to facilitate and enhance the education of young students about the importance of staying fit, eating healthy and setting goals and to serve as exemplary role models in doing just that. Student-athletes lead icebreakers and other fitness- and health-related activities as well as assist students with various class assignments.

The program not only provides invaluable lessons to the young students of Bruce Elementary School, but it also creates memorable moments for Miami University student-athletes.

“All of the kids came running up to me as I was getting ready to leave for the day asking for my autograph,” recalled Chrishawn Dupuy, sophomore defensive back for the football team from New Orleans, Louisiana. “It was such a special moment.”

But the valuable lessons are not only taken away by the young students at Bruce Elementary School. The Miami University student-athletes involved find powerful inspiration in the experiences.

“It is amazing how much these kids look up to us athletes,” said Kelsey Dinges, freshman midfielder for the soccer team from Smithton, Illinois. “It inspires me to set a good example.”

Miami University student-athletes continue to live up to the Culture of Champions by exemplifying strong leadership in practices, games and the classroom for all ages. Miami Play 30: Swoop into Fitness gives fans yet another reason to root for the RedHawks, both on and off the field, court or rink.

“It’s just fun to give back and realize where you’ve come from and to never be above that,” said Cody Reichard, senior goaltender for the hockey team from Celina, Ohio.