Two beneficial NFL programs, implemented in an effort to keep America's youth healthy and active, were recognized at Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins.
The NFL Punt, Pass and Kick program and the NFL Play 60 program have helped to better Philadelphia's youth throughout this season.
More than three million boys and girls across the country participate in the annual NFL punt, pass and kick (PPK) program each year. The NFL PPK is a free national skills competition where boys and girls in separated age brackets, compete against each other in punting, passing and place kicking.
After this year's NFL PPK Sectional Competition, the 32 highest-scoring children from the Philadelphia Region moved on to compete at the Philadelphia Eagles NFL PPK Team Championship at the NovaCare Complex before the Eagles game against the Washington Redskins on the morning of Nov. 29. Following that competition, those 32 participants were recognized in front of a sold-out crowd at Lincoln Financial field during Sunday's pre-game festivities.
In addition to being recognized as finalists of the Eagles' NFL PPK Team Championship competition, Casey Kelly, Julia Frey, Kegan Laman, Lachrisia Diffenderfer, Tyler Crum, Olivia Seely, Chad Kelly and Madeline Novak were announced during the first quarter break as the first-place winners of their age division. Those first-place scores were submitted to the NFL, giving our local finalists a chance to participate in the National Finals, which will take place at an NFL Playoff game in January.
Samuel S. Yellin Middle School of Stratford, New Jersey was also recognized at Sunday's game for winning the NFL and Philadelphia Eagles Play 60 challenge.
The Play 60 Challenge is a four-week program created by the American Heart Association in partnership with the NFL that encourages students to participate in at least 60 minutes of physical fitness each day. Students were required to log their minutes of physical activity in order to compete in the challenge. Yellin Middle School won the Play 60 Challenge by recording more minutes of physical activity than any other school in the competition.
The 10 students who recorded the most minutes of physical fitness were asked to represent Yellin Middle School at Sunday's game. Michael Swallow, Abby Shields, Colleen Hall, Patrick Sims, Michael Zingaro, Jay Harmon, Billy Campbell, Sabrina Shinkowitz, James Kelly and Caelin O'Neill sported their NFL Play 60 Philadelphia Eagles jerseys and sweatpants as they led the team through the helmet tunnel and onto the field.
"These two programs are the foundation of our youth outreach initiatives," said Eagles Director of Marketing Mike Malo. "They instill the importance of good fitness and reward kids for their participation in our sport. The kids recognized at the game were very deserving of this opportunity."