ND athletes urge kids to choose a healthy lifestyle

Author: LeJene Breckenridge

Published in the South Bend Tribune on March 16, 2014.

ND athletes urge kids to choose a healthy lifestyle

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014 11:45 pm

SOUTH BEND — A group of Notre Dame student-athletes recently brought a message about healthy living to elementary students who attend the after-school program at the YMCA in Michiana.

The road to one day possibly becoming a collegiate-level athlete starts with developing a healthy lifestyle, members of the Notre Dame golf and football teams told the students.

“When I was about you guys’ age my dad taught me the basics of a healthy life,’’ Jaylon Smith, a freshman linebacker on the Notre Dame football team said. “Each night I did about 10 push-ups. Stay active, eat healthy,” he added

Smith was among

the student-athletes who interacted with the elementary students as part of an outreach effort by the Notre Dame Relay for Life team.

“This year we’re trying to reach out to the community, and we looked at after-school programs as a way to reach kids to talk about choosing a healthy lifestyle to avoid preventable cancers,’’ said Andrea Romeros, student co-chair of the Notre Dame Relay for Life team.

Erika Wallace, the other student co-chair of the ND Relay for Life Team, said not smoking and using sunscreen are choices the student-athletes make to ensure they can perform in sports. She urged the elementary students to make the same choices.

The athletes agreed.

“Stay healthy by eating fruits and vegetables and staying active,’’ Greg Bryant, a sophomore running back on the Notre Dame team told the younger students.

“I eat fruit,’’ Bryant said. “My favorite is pineapple,’’ he told the children.

“Stay active, be a kid and run around,’’ Bryant told the children.

David Lowe, who is on the Notre Dame golf team, told the students that the student-athletes eat together at training tables four days per week and they choose foods to help them be healthy.

Students said hearing the message about healthy living from the Notre Dame athletes was fun.

“This was cool and fun,” said 9-year-old Alex Drain.

Another elementary student asked why sunscreen is necessary in winter.

Wallace responded that UV light from the sun also can affect skin in colder weather.

The students also did a word search and played games with the athletes.

The Notre Dame Relay for Life walk is set for March 28 at Compton Family Ice Arena.