Ndamukong Suh, C.J. Spiller, Richard Sherman and Nate Solder – four of the NFL’s brightest young stars – are coming to Canada.
The players will be bringing motivational tips, NFL ‘Play 60’ exercises and equipment and a $5,000 Samsung Hope for Children Smart School Technology Grant to the winners of the league’s annual ‘Take a Player to School’ sweepstakes.
“The NFL is pleased to partner with Samsung, our players and Canadian schools to address the issue of youth fitness — a problem too big to tackle alone,” said Dan Quinn, Managing Director, NFL Canada. “NFL Play 60 is a program with a proven track record of success. We are excited to integrate it into our annual Take a Player to School sweepstakes.”
Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman, a starting defensive back who has recorded 12 interceptions in just two seasons, will be visiting Cambridge Elementary School in Surrey BC on April 9. Sherman will join sweepstakes winner Matthew Baxter – a grade four student at the school – for a special NFL ‘Play 60’ teaching session and assembly at the school. Sherman will also present the school with a Samsung Hope for Children Smart School Technology Grant.
“Kid’s health and education initiatives are important pillars of our Samsung Hope for Children foundation, and we’re excited to help bring these values to life through the NFL Play 60 program,” said James Politeski, President of Samsung Canada. “We look forward to inspiring more kids to live healthy, active lifestyles.”
On April 10 Detroit Lion Ndamukong Suh, a two-time Pro Bowler who has recorded 22 quarterback sacks in just three seasons, will be accompanying sweepstakes winner Dominik Ostrowski to Edmonton’s Good Shepherd Elementary in a limousine. Suh, whose mother was a teacher and who graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Science degree, will then visit Ostrowski’s grade six classroom, and lead the NFL ‘Play 60’ session and assembly for the school.
C.J. Spiller, a star running back with the Buffalo Bills, will be visiting Kitchener Ontario’s W.T. Townshend Public School on April 22. Spiller is a former first round draft pick who finished among league leaders with 1,244 rushing yards last season. Spiller will be visiting the grade four classroom of sweepstakes winner Ronan Freeborn, and then speaking to the entire school. Spiller will also lead the day’s NFL ‘Play 60’ activities.
On May 1 the students at New Brunswick’s Centreville Community School will be visited by Nate Solder, a first round draft pick of the New England Patriots who also happens to be accomplished artist and the recipient of several academic awards. Solder, an offensive tackle who started all 16 games for the Patriots last season, will be visiting the classroom of grade two student and sweepstakes winner D.J. Wolverton. Solder will also lead a motivational assembly and the day’s NFL ‘Play 60’ activities.
Play 60 (twitter hashtag #Play60Canada ) is a National Football League initiative that is designed to instil lifelong habits of physical activity. Each NFL team conducts Play 60 assemblies and workouts in local schools. Students are left with the motivation, equipment and practical ideas necessary to get more active (60 minutes per day). In addition to the Samsung technology grant, the NFL will donate all fitness equipment used during the presentation for students to use in the future. NFL Take a Player to School visits also often focus on self esteem and bullying, depending on the unique experiences of the students and the player.
The Samsung Hope for Children program was launched globally to bring attention to the worldwide need for childhood education, health and sustainability. In 2012, Samsung provided more than $1.5M to Canadian community organizations and schools.
About Richard Sherman:
- Graduated from Dominguez High School in Compton, California
- Drafted from Stanford University with the 23rd pick in the fifth-round of the 2011 NFL Draft (154th overall)
- Played in all 16 games and moved in to starting lineup after Marcus Trufant (back) and Walter Thurmond (ankle) were placed on injured reserve, starting final 10 games at left corner
- Tied for third in franchise history with four interceptions as a rookie, along with 53 tackles (46 solo) and ranked second on team with 17 passes defensed. HONORS: 2010, All-Rookie Team (Pro Foot – ball Weekly); 2012 All-Pro
About C.J. Spiller:
- In addition to being a football star in his native Florida, C.J. was one of the state’s top track athletes (state champion in the 100m (10.42) and 200m sprints)
- Drafted from Clemson University with the ninth pick of the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft (Spiller graduated with a degree in Sociology)
- C.J.’s 1,244 rushing yards in the 2012 season were 8th best in the entire league
About Nate Solder:
- Attended Buena Vista High School in Colorado, where he played football, basketball and baseball, and was a National Honor Society and a regular honor roll student
- Drafted from the University of Colorado (where Solder earned a degree in Biology) in the first round (17th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft
- Recipient of the recipient of CU’s Dean Jacob Van Ek Award for academic excellence for the 2008 and 2010 seasons at the University of Colorado
- An accomplished artist (paintings and sculptures), some of Nate’s work earned all-state honors in high school. Following Christmas 2009, he traveled to Guatemala and volunteered at an orphanage. As a sophomore, he went to Italy during the summer to help rebuild a town after it suffered many collapses from an earthquake
About Ndamukong Suh:
- In 2010 Suh put together one of the most impressive rookie campaigns by a rookie defensive tackle in League history. Started all 16 games and recorded 66 tackles and a team-high 10.0 sacks. Also had 3 pass defenses, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery (returned for a 17-yard touchdown) and a forced fumble
- Ndamukong donated $2 million to Nebraska University Athletics for its Strength and Conditioning Program, and an additional $600,000 to the school’s College of Engineering to endow a scholarship (Suh graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management from the College of Engineering in December 2009