Lifestyle

Seahawk John Carlson pumps exercise at Snoqualmie Elementary

Seattle Seahawks tight end John Carlson cheers on second grade student Jackson Crumb in an “Ultimate Gym Class” relay. Carlson visited Snoqualmie Elementary on Tuesday, Oct. 26, after the school was selected as the National Football League’s Play 60 $10,000 grant winner in the Seahawks’ market. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Seattle Seahawks tight end John Carlson cheers on second grade student Jackson Crumb in an “Ultimate Gym Class” relay. Carlson visited Snoqualmie Elementary on Tuesday, Oct. 26, after the school was selected as the National Football League’s Play 60 $10,000 grant winner in the Seahawks’ market.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

It's not every day that your average second grader can go long with a professional football player.

But last Tuesday, Oct. 26, students at Snoqualmie Elementary School did just that, exercising with Seattle Seahawks tight end John Carlson, No. 89 himself.

Carlson's visit was an extra reward as part of the school's selection as a National Football League Play 60 Super School. Snoqualmie Elementary will receive a $10,000 grant to help fund fitness programs. The NFL also donated play equipment during the visit.

Following an all-school assembly, Carlson went one-on-one with about 30 students in a physical education session. Based on outstanding behavior in their classes, students' names were drawn from all grades.

Visiting with children, Carlson threw footballs, supervised a relay and singled hustling youngsters out for praise.

"They're working hard and having fun," he said.

The professional player emphasized the Play 60 program's goal of urging young people to exercise 60 minutes a day while pointing to growing obesity statistics.

"It's important to get kids to enjoy working out and developing healthy eating and exercise habits," he said.

"We've talked about the need for balance," Snoqualmie Elementary Principal Cori Pflug said. "To be able to sharpen your mind, you've got to have these other outlets."

Nationally, more than 5,500 schools entered the contest, which called on fans to demonstrate their passion for their favorite team and excitement for the season with a "Back to Football Friday" event supporting youth health and wellness.

Snoqualmie Elementary was selected for the Play 60 program out of all schools in the local NFL market. The school held a huge rally, created a 12th man flag and ran on a "Seahawk Trail."

"Had the kids not made their gear and ran, we wouldn't have done it," said Jim McEldowney, physical education teacher for 20 years at the school.

Using the grant, McEldowney plans to start a diet and exercise tracking program at school.

Relaying around the gym during Carlson's visit, fifth grade student Will Caro said it'll be easy to meet the pro player's challenge.

"I play a bunch of sports: football, baseball, basketball," he said. Football just happens to be his favorite.

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