Students Skip Candy at Valentine's Day Fit to Win Event

BOSTON – Valentine’s Day proved to be extra special for 18 fourth graders at Jordan’s Boys and Girls Club. Covidien and the Celtics hosted the third Fit to Win event this season with guard Nate Robinson and Strength and Conditioning coach Bryan Doo, teaching the children about living healthy.

The children arrived at the facility full of energy; after all, it was Valentine’s Day! As Robinson walked into the room he said, “I like this group. You all have energy like me. This is going to be a good afternoon!”

Doo continued on. “How are you guys today? Did you have a good Valentine’s Day?”

The students readily replied with a yes. Some spoke of parties they had at school. Others talked about learning the meaning behind the day.

“I’m glad you all have a good time,” said Doo. “While you all probably ate a lot of candy earlier, we wanted to talk to you about living healthy. Who knows what the two components are?”

Hands sprang in the air! “Exercising is one,” answered a youth.

“You’re exactly right. Exercising is extremely important,” replied Doo. “What is the other one?”

Another child answered, “Eating healthy food.”

“Wow. You guys are smart group,” exclaimed Doo. “Eating foods like fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy lifestyle.”

Following the opening of the event, it was time to illustrate the words Doo had expressed.

The children were instructed to get up and stretch their bodies before their physical activity began. With that completed, it was time to play.

From outside the room you could hear the excitement as the children raced to flip cones for their team. Inside, Robinson and Doo were just as enthusiastic as they worked up a sweat with the group!

“See how easy it is to get your blood circulating?” asked Doo. “If you spend 30 minutes a day flipping cones with friends or some other kind of activity, you’re halfway to living a healthy lifestyle.”

Robinson added, “Our next activity today focuses on the other half, eating healthy.”

The fourth graders were directed to the classroom where six tables were set up with plates of apples, pineapples, cantaloupes, grapes and strawberries.

Director of Community Relations Matt Meyersohn explained to the students the rules for the activity.

“As Nate and Bryan have been stressing all afternoon, eating healthy is really important,” said Meyersohn. “On your tables you have an assortment of fruit, a pineapple base and skewers. I want you all to imagine that you’re the top chef at a fancy restaurant and you’re creating an edible fruit sculpture for famous people in Massachusetts like Bryan and Nate! The winning team will be given tickets to a Celtics game! You’ve got 15 minutes starting now.”

The six teams rushed to get to work. They all wanted to see Robinson and the Celtics play.

Some groups made their masterpiece Valentine’s Day related. Others used every piece of fruit on their plates.

“Time’s up,” said Meyersohn. “Hands in the air.”

Happy with their final pieces, the students were ready to be judged by Doo and Robinson. They were anxiously awaiting the victor as the judges took a while to figure out who won.

“Ok you guys, I think we’ve got a winner,” said Robinson. “All of you were really creative and it was a tough decision but in the end we went with…all of you!”

The room became loud in a split second as the youth were cheering and clapping with broad smiles.

“We all get to go to a game,” remarked one child. “That’s awesome. I’ve never been to a Celtics game before!”

To conclude the event, Covidien’s Director of Civic Affairs, Teresa Hacunda, addressed the group.

“Thank you guys for coming today,” said Hacunda, “At Covidien we provide products and services to healthcare professionals. We see every day the ramifications of not living a healthy life. We want to encourage you to eat right and exercise now so that in the future you won’t have medical issues. I want to thank Nate and Bryan for showing you how to be healthy.”