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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs reward elementary students for fitness



The unknown addition and subtraction of NFL free agency is fast approaching, but the Bucs made a celebratory stop at Pizzo Elementary in Tampa on Thursday morning, with six players honoring the school for winning the team's 2014 "Play 60 Challenge."

The Bucs players -- receiver Vincent Jackson, tight end Tim Wright, defensive ends Da'Quan Bowers and William Gholston, linebacker Ka'lial Glaud and safety Keith Tandy -- were joined by cheerleaders and mascot Captain Fear, as Pizzo's fifth-graders amassed more than 164,000 minutes of exercise in the month of January, winning the Bucs' district and earning $2,000 in new physical education equipment for their hard work.

"We are your fans today," Jackson, the team's Man of the Year for 2013, told the students. "Today is about you and your achievements."

Students got white Bucs rally towels and fifth-graders got "Play 60" shirts, running through a tunnel of high-fives from players as they left the school cafeteria. Students also got a look at the Bucs' new redesigned logo and helmet.

The players then ran the fifth-graders through a battery of football drills -- Tandy even worked with kids on their touchdown dances. The team's challenge had more than 1,000 students across Hillsborough County collect more than 1 million minutes of exercise. Four other schools received donations as well -- Miles Elementary School $1,500, Cleveland $750, Egypt Lake $500 and Foster $250.

The Play 60 drive, working with the American Heart Association, encourages children to strive for at least 60 minutes of exercise a day, helping work against national trends in childhood obesity. You can read more about the campaign here.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 27, 2014 6:27pm]


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