On Tuesday, November 13th, a large group of Saints players visited Gretna Middle School as part of the NFL's PLAY 60 Super School contest.
Through the NFL's Back to Football campaign, schools were encouraged to submit essays that detailed their plan to show NFL team pride and incorporate football into their lesson plans. One school from each of the 32 NFL markets along with two schools from non-NFL markets were chosen to receive a $10,000 NFL PLAY 60 grant for health and wellness programming and equipment.
NFL Network also provided each Super School's school district an opportunity to receive an additional $10,000 grant opportunity through the Keep Gym in School program.
Players in attendance included S Roman Harper, S Malcolm Jenkins, DE Cameron Jordan, LS Justin Drescher, WR Joseph Morgan, P Thomas Morstead, RB Pierre Thomas and WR Lance Moore.
The players visited Gretna Middle School to present the check as well as spend time with the students and faculty. Players visited the principal's office and spoke to students about the importance of good health before leading a group of kids in fitness activities.
Players focused on the importance of being active for at least 60 minutes per day and proper nutrition.
"We're here to stress the importance of being active and eating healthy," said Thomas. "You always want to inspire kids and see smiles on their faces and it is important to help lead them in the right direction and that's what we're here to do. As a kid, that's where it all starts."
Once it came time for the fitness activities, students and the players were divided among five fitness stations. The stations included jump rope, push-ups and sit-ups, a football relay race, work with weights and a running back drill.
Players split up to different stations to instruct the students on proper techniques while also having fun with the children.
"They were active and very eager to participate," said Jordan. "It was awesome spending time with the kids. The experience we had with them was just great."
Each student that participated in the fitness activities had an opportunity to meet all eight members of the black and gold while also learning ways to stay active and healthy.
"I very specifically remember every time I met a professional athlete or coach growing up," said Morstead. "It makes a big impact. Hopefully we were able to bring some happiness to them and spread the word about being healthy and getting out and being active."