Rookies share PLAY60 message with kids

Steelers' rookies kicked off Tuesday morning getting in a workout at the team's practice facility, running, lifting weights and doing their regular cardio workouts.

Later in the day they turned the tables, encouraging kids from Pittsburgh King K-8 school on the city's North Side to be active as well.

The rookie class took part in the 15th Annual NFL/United Way Hometown Huddle by participating in a PLAY60 Assembly at the school.

"I think it's important for the kids to get out and have some fun," said quarterback Landry Jones. "With the way technology is today it's easy for kids to get cooped up inside. I know growing up we had video games, but you still had to go outside and be active and healthy.

"There were so many sports going on in my town from three-on-three basketball tournaments, football, and soccer. There were all sorts of activities and they were fun to be a part of."

After addressing the entire student body about the importance of being active and living a healthy lifestyle, it was all fun and games as they took a group of the kids through various stations. The players showed them fun ways to stay active while promoting the PLAY60 message.

"Things have changed a lot," said linebacker Jarvis Jones. "Kids don't play outside as much as they used to. There is too much technology. Giving them 60 minutes to go out and play lets them let their energy out. It's healthy for them. It's important to go out and have fun. It frees them from school work, frees their mind from everything. I still need that. It's helpful and gives them their time to go outside and play with their friends.

"With video games you sit in the house and can play against friends that are halfway across the country. There isn't any interaction. You aren't outside playing and being creative. It's good when you see kids out, interacting and playing with each other, but you don't get it that much."

The Hometown Huddle also was a part of United Way of Allegheny County's fitUnited Pittsburgh, an initiative that brings adults who are influential in the lives of kids together to stress the importance of making the right decisions for a healthy lifestyle.

"It gets you away from thinking about you," said Landry Jones. "Your eyes go to those kids and have fun with them. It's great the rookies are doing it and it's part of Coach (Mike) Tomlin's message about us reaching out to the community."

The Steelers have a long relationship with the United Way of Allegheny County, and the Hometown Huddle is one of the many events they partner for.

"The Pittsburgh Steelers, the Rooney family and United Way of Allegheny County have been joining forces for 40 years to bring about good in our community," said Bob Nelkin, President of the United Way of Allegheny County. "We share a strong belief in the importance of children receiving good nutrition and getting more physical activity, as demonstrated by the Steelers players today at Pittsburgh King school."

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