By Alicia Dziak

Last week, two SGI middle schoolers, accompanied by middle school PE teacher Karen Reynolds, headed to Atlanta, Ga. for the annual Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) Student Ambassador Summit. Matthew Delasandro and Julia Uhteg were two of the 215 student ambassadors at the summit.

Reynolds explained that Delasandro was chosen by FUTP60 to attend an all-expenses-paid trip to be part of this amazing leadership opportunity. Uhteg was chosen last year to attend in Minnesota, and this year she wanted to attend again because of her life changing experiences and opportunities. She was given the chance and thankfully her wonderful K-8 teachers helped raise her funds to make it possible. (Thank you SGI faculty and staff again for donating to Julia!)

Delasandro, Uhteg and Reynolds flew to Atlanta and were involved in many activities that promote healthy eating and 60 minutes of activity.  FUTP60 is teamed with the National Dairy Council, GENYOUth, and the NFL which many school districts across the nation participate in to promote healthy eating and physical activity in schools.

“At SGI-MS we have been participating in this program for 10 years now and each year we get some amazing opportunities for our students and most of all, help educate and motivate kids to be active and healthy,” Reynolds said.

At this year’s summit, attendees were able to meet NFL players such as Alex Smith, Ben Garland, Graham Gano, Jason Brown, Jerome Bettis, and Grady Jarrett, to name a few.  Guest speakers included Sheri Collins, Alexis Glick, Dr. David Satcher, Olympian Aja Evans, and many dairy farmers from across the country. Adding some fun and humor to the summit, they were were also able to interact and have fun with NFL mascots Blue (Indianapolis), T-Rac (Carolina), Miles (Denver), Freddie Falcon (Atlanta), and Viktor (Minnesota).

“One of the most highlighting parts of the trip was the tour and play time at Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the 2019 SuperBowl will he held,” Reynolds noted.  “This newly-built stadium was 2 million square feet and very exhilarating to tour and play games in.”

“I joined Fuel Up To Play 60 because I like to be active and healthy,” said Delasandro, an incoming eighth grader.  “I was excited to be chosen to go to The FUPTP60 Summit to learn more ways to reach out to other students to be more active.  It was a great time, I learned and experienced a lot of new things I hope I can pass on.”

“During the FUTP60 Summit, I learned a lot about how to incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into our schools and lives,” said Uhteg. “Because I went to the summit last year, I was super excited to go again this year. Being involved in Fuel Up to Play 60 is a great opportunity to learn leadership skills, ways to bring new programs to our school and meet new people from all over the United States.”

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