Heather Murtagh/Daily Journal
Forty Niners offensive tackle Alex Boone flexes his biceps while Roy Cloud students work their muscles Monday morning in Redwood City.
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Alex Boone started the assembly at Roy Cloud Elementary School in Redwood City by giving high-fives to kids as he went quickly down the aisle.
"I was 6 feet 8 inches, 275 pounds in eighth grade. As a kid, I was a large human being,” Boone told the students during an assembly Monday morning. "I was always trying to be active and have fun with my friends.”
Boone’s message of eating healthy and getting outside to play is part of the NFL Play 60 campaign to encourage kids to be active to reverse childhood obesity. Roy Cloud was chosen to be the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the program. Boone was on hand yesterday to celebrate. The district will also receive $10,000, all of which will support physical education programs throughout the district.
Superintendent Jan Christensen said there is always more that can be done in terms of offering physical education throughout the Redwood City Elementary School District. The grants will help further those efforts.
At Roy Cloud, the district pays for part of the cost of a physical education teacher for third through eighth grades, explained PTO Co-president Sarah Orton. Trained parent volunteers are used to help with the younger kids and the PTO helps raise the rest of the funds for the teacher, she said. That leaves little cash for equipment, Orton said. At the suggestion of PTO Treasurer Jim Balestieri, the parents applied for Roy Cloud.
Principal Greg Land said the money will help further the parent docent training and really come in handy for getting new equipment.
Children had numerous opportunities to chat and play with the pro athlete. Five students were selected through a campus competition to ask Boone questions like what inspired him to be a pro player or how he handles stressful game situations.
Boone graciously told students how he was a large kid. Football was one of the only sports that really made sense. It wasn’t until high school that Boone realized it could be a career. When in high-stress situations, Boone said it helps to know you’re part of a team and to put your faith in others that everyone will do their best.
It wasn’t all talk on Monday. Students also got a chance to play. A group of students was selected to participate in the class which offered a variety of stations: jump rope challenge, running back cone course, football relay race, toning training and pushups/situps. Boone joined the students with encouraging words and often taking part in the activities as well.
Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.