Celtics Host Fit to Win Event at Practice Facility
WALTHAM, Mass. – As 33 youth looked to the front of the conference room at the Celtics’ practice facility on Thursday afternoon for Covidien’s Fit to Win event, Rajon Rondo explained to them the importance of eating healthy and being physically active.
“I wouldn’t be playing in the NBA today if I hadn’t made eating right and staying active a top priority,” said the point guard. “At your age I was always outside playing sports, no matter the weather.”
Rondo, along with teammate Avery Bradley, Strength and Conditioning Coach Bryan Doo and Community Relations Director Matt Meyersohn spent an hour with the youth from Yawkey Boys and Girls Club in the hopes of instilling in them the positives of physical activity and eating healthy.
Following Rondo’s welcome, the children were ready to start their first activity. On each table there was a pineapple base, strawberries, grapes, apples, melon, cantaloupe and skewers.
“How many of you like fruit?” asked Meyersohn.
Hands immediately sprang in the air. “Wow. There are a lot of you that eat fruit and that’s great. There are a lot of vitamins in fruit that are good for you, so for our first activity today we are going to focus on eating healthy. I want you to imagine that you’re the top chef at the best restaurant in Boston. Your task is to create an appealing fruit dish for Rajon and Avery. The winning team will receive tickets to an upcoming Celtics game!”
The quiet room became loud and boisterous with the news that Celtics tickets were on the line as Rondo and Avery went from table to table to help assist the teams.
While Rondo was with Team One, one of the students asked him what his favorite fruit was. “I like pineapple a lot,” he responded. It wasn’t a coincidence that their fruit artwork consisted of more pineapple than any other fruit!
Bradley was impressed with Team Two’s creation. While other teams were using the pineapple as the base of their design, Team Two used it as the top of their artwork. “That’s creative,” remarked Bradley.
The allotted time came to a close as the students were frantically trying to put the finishing touches are their design. Once everyone was settled in their seats, they anxiously awaited the results.
“All of the artwork looks great,” exclaimed Meyersohn. “It’s such a tough decision that Rajon and Avery are going to need some time to choose a winner, so we will go to our next activity first.”
The group moved from the conference room to the gym in order to participate in a physical activity. Initially the youth were awestruck by the Celtics gym. Championship banners adorned the walls letting the kids know that this was a very successful basketball team.
Following the gazes around the gym, Doo instructed the kids with stretching.
“Before any physical activity, you should always get your muscles loose,” said Doo.
It was time for the cone game! The kids were divided into three groups. While two were participating in the game, the third group cheered on their peers. Cones were lined up with every other one being up or down. The premise of the game was to have more cones on one side depending on which team you were on. As the first game started, all you could see were kids running around trying to turn the cones up or down. By the end of the three games there might have been a little sweat dripping from their foreheads!
“I’m glad you all enjoyed that activity,” said Meyersohn. “You may have looked at it originally and thought how could flipping cones be physical? Now you guys know! Physical activity doesn’t just have to playing basketball or running track. You can get a group of friends and some cones and still get a workout in.”
With all of the youth on the bleachers, it was time to determine the winner of the fruit activity earlier. Rondo, Bradley and Doo huddled together around the displays for what seemed like a long time as the kids sat nervously. Some youth had never been to a Celtics game and wanted to win very badly!
“It was a tough decision,” began Rondo. “I liked the creativeness of Team One and Two. Avery liked Team Three and Four and B. Doo liked Teams Five and Six. In the end we thought everyone’s was great and we’re going to get you all tickets to a game!”
Cheers ensued as the kids couldn’t hold their excitement! However, it was important to remind the youth about the purpose of the event.
“What are the two main components to living a healthy lifestyle,” said Meyersohn.
Without hesitation, hands went into the air. One child answered, “Eating healthy and being physical help you lead a healthy lifestyle.”
It was clear that the day’s messages had sunk in.