The Los Angeles Chargers want to help more students in Orange County become physically fit.
So they’re reaching out to campuses that might want to host mini “training camps” as part of the NFL PLAY 60 campaign.
Charger representatives met this week at Orange County Department of Education headquarters with about 50 physical education teachers from throughout the county to explain how they could have their schools join the campaign, which encourages children to spend at least 60 minutes each day in physical activities.
The NFL allows for each of the league’s 32 teams to sponsor 35 schools or youth programs in each team’s region. Participating schools receive two training sessions a year where Charger representatives visit to organize NFL-style, non-contact exercise drills. Depending on when or where the sessions are held, Charger players or cheerleaders might stop by to join in the action.
Besides the exercise sessions, schools’ PE teachers receive training on how they can incorporate some of these drills throughout the year. All the exercises are aligned with the FitnessGram testing protocols, currently used as the state’s health-related fitness assessment for public schools. The NFL picks up all costs associated with the program.
“We feel that getting students involved with a pro sports program can get them more excited about physical education,” said Chase Hartman, community relations manager for the Chargers.
Chris Corliss, program coordinator for health sciences at OCDE, serves as the liaison between the Chargers and local participating schools. He said he sought out the Chargers soon after they moved into their new headquarters in Costa Mesa last year so they could team up with Orange County schools.
“This is a great opportunity to encourage students to and schools to take a more active role in fitness,” Corliss said.
Santiago K-8 School in Santa Ana Unified School District hosted a Chargers training camp recently. Here is a video from the event.