The Fuel up to Play 60 campaign works to get children more active and to eat healthier, and one student at Springville-Griffith Institute has been helping lead the charge for students both at S-GI and statewide.
Incoming S-GI seventh grade student Julia Uhteg was selected and has taken on the duties as state ambassador in the Fuel up to Play 60 program and has begun working to make her school healthier.
Fuel up to Play 60 is a national for-youth program founded by the NFL and the National Dairy Council, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture, that encourages youth to eat nutrient-rich foods and get at least 60 minutes of exercise every day.
Utheg got interested in the Fuel up to Play 60 program after seeing a sign in the classroom of her health teacher Sara Coughlin. After getting involved with the program, Coughlin urged Uhteg to sign up for the annual state ambassador summit and after getting even more involved, was excited to hear that she was accepted to become a state ambassador for New York state.
“I wasn’t in any clubs so I was very interested … I got into the program and got involved and was really excited about this because I wanted kids to get involved for 60 minutes a day, have fun, stay active and not just play video games for the whole day,” Uhteg said.
At S-GI, Uhteg and the other Fuel up to Play 60 members helped with keeping students healthy by starting programs including a baseball clinic where three professional baseball players – Daniel Dallas, Hank Morrison and Zach Mitchell – came to the school to help students experience professional baseball training in pitching, hitting and fielding. Along with the baseball clinic, Uhteg said the Fuel up to Play 60 club hosted a Zumba class for students, which was a big hit among those who participated, and helped promote healthy eating by going around to classrooms and offering watermelon to students and teaching students about the benefits of eating healthy.
“My favorite part is learning all of these new ideas and sharing them to my school,” Uhteg said.
Uhteg recently went to the Fuel up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit in Minneapolis, Minn., which brought together other ambassadors from across the country.
At the summit, Uhteg learned about “brain breaks” – a tactic to refocus learners, which she plans to bring back to her school – toured local dairy farms, the Land O’Lakes Cheese Factory and an answer plot (a “living laboratory” that tests crop protection and plant nutrition technologies.) The tours gave Uhteg insight into the health benefits of milk and cheese.
Along with the workshops and tours, Uhteg went to the Minnesota Viking facility to meet NFL players, play flag football, have a photoshoot with former Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas and enjoy other fun activities meant to help everyone stay active.
Most recently, Uhteg was able to attend the Buffalo Bills first preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings on Aug. 10 and was super excited to be able to do something she has seen on television.
“I watch the Bills games with my dad and I would always see these people, the Fuel up to Play 60 ambassadors, run onto the field … I actually said that I wanted to do that someday and I didn’t know how and then all of a sudden I got this email and I was super excited and couldn’t wait,” Uhteg said.
For more information on the Fuel up to Play 60 program, visit fueluptoplay60.com.