Minutes before the National Football League (NFL) teams of Super Bowl XLIX took the field, a middle school student from Orlando, Fla., had the honor of handing the game ball to an NFL official for the kickoff. But Bobby did much more than hand off that football. As this year’s NFL Play 60 “Super Kid,” the 12-year-old boy helped to inspire students across America to exercise daily and eat healthier foods.
He accomplished this feat through his relentless work with the Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program, an outreach and education initiative founded by the National Dairy Council and the NFL, in collaboration with USDA. The program encourages youth in nearly 73,000 schools, representing almost 36 million students, to consume nutrient-rich foods—low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruit, vegetables and whole grains—and achieve 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Bobby and thousands of other students entered the “Super Kid” contest. They pledged to be physically active daily for 60 minutes and submitted videos showing their personal commitment to outdoor exercise and a healthy diet. Bobby emerged as an articulate and passionate spokesperson for FUTP60, giving the program national exposure on Super Bowl Sunday.
The National Dairy Council is funded by assessments through the National Dairy Promotion and Research Program. The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board directs the program under the oversight of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The program provides the funds for this initiative and many others by pooling industry assessments, setting common goals and making decisions about how to best develop new markets and strengthen current ones for fluid milk and dairy products.
Bobby’s been a whirlwind of energy for the program, establishing a FUTP60 club in his elementary school and then in his middle school. Thanks to his work, his middle school now has a salad bar along with other healthier cafeteria options. Bobby also helped to establish school and community gardens through grants he obtained, and he served as FUTP60’s Florida State Ambassador from 2012 to 2013.
Well done, Bobby! To learn more about FUTP60, visit the program’s website. Whether you are a student, parent or educator, you will find plenty of ways to get excited about exercise and healthy eating in America’s schools.