Last spring, sixth-grade students at Bay Point Middle School logged more than 600,000 total minutes of exercise over the course of a month as part of a fitness competition to learn about health and nutrition. Beyond the obvious benefits of such a dedicated approach to physical fitness, the Bay Point kids received another reward for their efforts: A special physical education makeover from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The prize included new physical education equipment, an upgraded campus fitness trail and a celebratory visit from the Buccaneers and the American Heart Association.
This month, thousands of middle schoolers will aim to top Bay Point's mark from last year, in hopes of securing a similar reward from their favorite NFL team.
Beginning this week and extending throughout the month of February, students at 13 Hillsborough County middle schools will compete for a total of $10,000 in physical education equipment as part of the 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Play 60 Challenge.
As part of the competition, sixth-grade students at the participating schools will log their daily minutes of physical activity over a four-week period. At the end of the month, the average number of minutes logged per school will determine the winners, with the first place school receiving a $5,000 Ultimate Physical Education Makeover and a celebratory pep rally with Buccaneers players, Buccaneers Cheerleaders and the American Heart Association. The schools that finish second through sixth place will each receive a $1,000 Physical Education Makeover for their efforts in the Buccaneers Play 60 Challenge.
The following Hillsborough County middle schools are participating in the Buccaneers Play 60 Challenge this month: Buchanan Middle School, Franklin Middle Magnet School, Liberty Middle School, Monroe Middle School, Orange Grove Middle Magnet School, Pierce Middle School, Roland Park K-8 Magnet School, Stewart Middle Magnet School, Turkey Creek Middle School, Walker Middle Magnet School, Willis Peters Exceptional School, Dowdell Middle Magnet School and Mulrennan Middle School.
Last year, four local middle schools competed in the Buccaneers Play 60 Challenge while learning about the importance of daily exercise. Bay Point won the challenge but the remaining schools – Ferrell Girls Preparatory Academy, Smith Middle School, and Young Middle School – also received funds for their P.E. programs.
The Buccaneers Play 60 Challenge is conducted in conjunction with a national campaign created by the NFL and the American Heart Association to inspire kids to exercise for a minimum of 60 minutes a day. NFL clubs throughout the league are teaming up with area American Heart Association affiliates to tailor the campaign to their local communities. Childhood obesity rates are at an all-time high and today nearly one in three kids and teens in the United States are obese or overweight. For more information, visit www.Heart.org/nflplay60challenge.