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West Virginia football players join kids for Mini Day of Play

MORGANTOWN — About 40 kids in The Shack Neighborhood House’s after-school program got the opportunity to meet and play with WVU football players during the sixth annual Mini Day of Play, organized by GETMOVING! Inc., on Oct. 15.
Vice President Tim Bradley of GETMOVING! Inc. said the nonprofit was founded to promote a healthy lifestyle among kids in the Mountain State.
The organization hosts two events a year, founder Elizabeth Oppe said. Day of Play is hosted each spring at WVU Football’s indoor practice facility, Caperton Indoor Facility or at Mountaineer Field, depending on the weather, Oppe said. The Mini Day of Play is held in the fall.
She said the partnership with football players to combat obesity by encouraging children to be active is a natural partnership.
Each year, NFL players who used to play for WVU attend the Day of Play event, Bradley said. Players who have participated in Day of Play include Bruce Irving, Will Clark, Wendell Smallwood and Najee Goode, he said.
The kids look up to the players, he added, and actually listen to what they say about health and fitness, a feeling WVU kicker Evan Staley is familiar with.
“As a kid I looked up to them [football players],” he said.
Staley said he participated in last year’s event, and he was excited to come back this year. He said the looks of joy on the children’s faces when they interact with the players makes it a really special event.
Before breaking off into four groups to visit the four stations manned by football players, including a cone station for footwork run by Staley, WVU cheerleaders led the kids in a cheer.
April Kesling, cheerleader, said the event is one the program looks forward to each year and is a great way to give back to the community.
Mountaineer Trevor Kiess did seven push-ups, just like after the Mountaineers score in a game. About half the kids joined him.
Oppe said the event has grown each year and the non-profit is looking to keep expanding. Those interested in donating or sponsoring the program or finding out more about GETMOVING! Inc. should visit
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