In partnership with the American Heart Association, the Los Angeles Rams hosted a PLAY 60 Field Day on Friday, May 4th at Cal Lutheran University for more than 1,000 youth from 16 different schools across the Los Angeles region to culminate this year’s NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, a four-week program that engages students in physical activity and inspires youth to get the recommended 60 minutes of daily-physical activity. In January, the Rams held a NFL PLAY 60 Challenge kickoff event at the team’s headquarters in Agoura Hills to welcome the teachers and school administrators participating in the initiative.
With countless stations set up on Cal Lutheran University’s football field, Rams linebacker SAMSON EBUKAM, tight ends* GERALD EVERETT, TEMARRICK HEMINGWAY & TYLER HIGBEE, and defensive lineman *ETHAN WESTBROOKS led youth in football-related activities such as 40-yard dashes, flag football contests and obstacle courses. Players would often demonstrate the correct ways to complete each drill and would even engage in some friendly competition with the elementary school students.
“I think I’m having more fun than they are,” said tight end Tyler Higbee. “They have so much energy… I just remember when that was me, so it’s nice to provide the same joy for these kids.”
For John Nuffer Elementary student Cynthia Ortega, it was an opportunity to interact with individuals who she thought she’d only ever see on TV. She didn’t know it could get better than watching her favorite team play on Sundays, until she was interacting with some of her favorite players at a PLAY 60 event.
“Seeing them on the TV is nice,” said Ortega. “But meeting them in person, that’s a lot better.”
Having been affected by some of the issues that American Heart Association strives to support, tight end Gerald Everett serves as an ambassador and volunteer for AHA. He also remembers some of the PLAY 60 events he attended as a child in Atlanta and how those experiences cemented his passion for football.
“People in my family’s past have struggled with heart disease and high blood pressure so I feel like I should play a part and do what I can for the American Heart Association,” said Everett. “It seems like yesterday when I participated in my first PLAY 60 event as a kid with the Falcons back in the city of Atlanta, so I wasn’t going to miss the chance to come out and PLAY 60…I really can’t say enough about these kids.”
Schools that participated in the Rams’ PLAY 60 Challenge at Cal Lutheran University were: John H. Nuffer Elementary (Norwalk), Meyler Street Elementary (Torrance), Rancho Vista Elementary (North Rolling Hills Estates), Santa Isabel Elementary (Boyle Heights), St. Anthony Parish School (Long Beach), St. Franis of Assisi School (Silver Lake), St. Paul the Apostle (Westwood), Trinity Lutheran School (Hawthorne), Valor Christain Academy (Redondo Beach), Western Avenue Elementary (South Central Los Angeles), Warner Avenue Elementary (Holmby Hills), Webster Elementary (Long Beach), West Hollywood Elementary (West Hollywood), Westchester Lutheran School (Westchester), Willard Elementary (Pasadena/Rosemead), and Wilmington Park Elementary (Wilmington).
The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The organization funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies, and provides critical tools and information to save and improve lives.
Since the program’s inception in 2006, the Rams’ PLAY 60 Challenge has engaged over 136 schools and organizations and over 31,000 students. Since returning to Los Angeles, the Rams have engaged 83 schools and more than 19,789 students through the PLAY 60 program.
For more information about the Rams’ PLAY 60 initiatives, please visit therams.com/play60.