COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland Athletic Department and United Healthcare gave the gift of good health to local middle school students. The second annual “Train with the Terps” taught fitness tips that are essential for a healthy lifestyle and brought awareness to educating children on the importance of staying active Saturday morning at the Comcast Center.
“I think it’s important for collegiate athletes to be healthy, but it should start when you’re younger,” said Carrie Blankenship, Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing and Community Engagement. “Being healthy isn’t just for those who just compete in sports. It’s important to have a healthy lifestyle in order to live a long, happy life.”
More than 100 kids from the Housing Opportunities Commission were divided into four different stations, each of which focused in different areas including speed, strength, agility and footwork. The Maryland men’s lacrosse athletes and coaches assisted the kids in each of the four 15-minute training sessions.
“I think these activities are really important for your overall fitness,” said Mike Szemborski, Director of Strength and Conditioning for Olympic Sports. “It’s also important to stay healthy by making sure your joints and flexibility stay loose and fit so it lasts your entire life.”
After the training circuit, the kids enjoyed a tug of war contest between Maryland lacrosse players in addition to a speech on nutrition tips from Colleen Davis, Director of Sports Nutrition for Maryland athletics.
Some tips Davis had for the children included choosing whole-wheat food, electing low-fat dairy products and eating plenty fruits and vegetables.
The kids received complementary Subway sandwiches, Maryland t-shirts and free admission into the Terps’ ACC home opener against Georgia Tech that afternoon.
“Being able to exercise with the lacrosse team and then go watch the basketball game with my friends is an awesome way to begin the new year,” said Jake, a participant in Saturday’s festivities.