Some Ankeny elementary students got quite the surprise visit late last week, all because of their hard work and their commitment to stay healthy and be active.
Tony Moeaki, former Iowa Hawkeye football player and current tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, paid a visit to in Ankeny last Thursday morning. It was a complete surprise to the kids, many of whom could only stare in awe at one of their favorite sports figures or marvel at how tall he was in real life.
But Moeaki's visit had a bigger purpose. The students at Terrace, as well as , were treated to it because both schools recently were announced winners of the Fuel Up to Play 60 "Back to School, Back to Football Challenge."
"It's so great to see you guys making this commitment to having a healthier school, a healthier community," Moeaki told the students.
NFL, City Team Up for Better Health
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program created in partnership with the Midwest Dairy Council and the NFL. The program encourages kids to eat healthy foods, stay active and implement healthy changes in their schools.
The challenge required schools to upload a video that showcased their efforts in their schools. The Ankeny school district did so by creating a video that showed off their involvement in the . It also highlighted the district's high school drumline and Ankeny Mayor Steven Van Oort's pledge that day to make Ankeny the healthiest city in the nation.
In addition, parts of the video also were shown during .
Developing Lifelong Healthy Habits
"I'm so proud of our team for their hard work getting their classmates involved in this phenomenal program," said Lynn Swinger, nutrition and wellness coordinator for Ankeny Schools. "These students are on their way to developing lifelong healthy habits and reaping the benefits of this program for years to come."
During Moeaki's visit, he met a small group of students who were leaders in the challenge before headlining an assembly for the rest of the school. During the assembly, Moeaki answered questions from the students, questions involving his favorite foods, his favorite exercise and more.
At the end of his visit, he led Terrace students in a special warmup session followed by a ten-minute walk.
Moeaki said staying active and eating the right things helped him get where he is today.
"Way before I ever got to the NFL or University of Iowa, I was always outside playing," he said. "And to be active and play sports, you have to fuel up — eat breakfast, drink your milk, because it helps you stay active."
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