Daniels, Okoye encourage kids to “Play 60”

Texans tight end and defensive tackle participated in the NFL’s Play 60 Super School Visit on Friday at Smith Elementary in southwest Houston.

The Play 60 initiative encourages kids to exercise at least 60 minutes every day. That’s exactly what Daniels and Okoye did on Friday after presenting the school with a check from the Play 60 program for $10,000.

“It was great,” Daniels said. “This Smith Elementary School is unbelievable. Super committed, motivated kids – first off academically, and obviously they have a ton of spirit and won this Play 60 award and got a nice big check to their school to use whatever they need it for. The kids seemed real excited.”

Daniels and Okoye spoke with the students in the school auditorium before leading them through football drills and various exercises on an outdoor field.

“It kind of takes yourself back to when you were in elementary school and seeing the kids just like you were back in the day,” Daniels said. “[We’re] just making sure they know what’s important. Obviously, they’ve got the academics driven in really solidly, and the teachers do a great job. But the other side of that is staying healthy – getting out of the house, playing with friends, whatever it is. I remember back in the day playing tag or capture the flag or whatever it was. It didn’t have to be a sport. Just being out and running around out of the house away from video games.”

Smith Elementary was selected as the Houston-area Super School through a contest that started early in the 2010 season. Schools all over the country entered to win a visit from their local NFL team by showing how their school promotes health and wellness along with pride in their favorite team.

“From the first time I walked in and they had a couple of kids greet us with an introductory statement, it wowed me,” Okoye said. “I’ve just been very, very surprised to see the intelligence and the smarts in some of these kids.”

Okoye recently had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, but he was happy to be at the school to talk about the importance of being active.

“That’s what we’re trying to preach,” he said. “We’re trying to preach staying active at this young age. The NFL Play 60 and my charity foundation with our Kickoff for Kids program pretty much preach the same thing, just wanting kids to be more active because obesity and inactivity have an increased percentage among our youths and kids nowadays. So participating in this is fun. I enjoy it.”

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