Students at Bryn Mawr Elementary School got a non-traditional lesson in fitness and education this week.
Defensive End Raheem Brock visited Bryn Mawr Elementary on Tuesday, but before heading outside to the playfield, he had some words of advice for the students, who gathered in the gym.
“You all need to stay in school and get an education,” he said, encouraging the students to do their best and go to college. Brock is a graduate of Temple University.
While school should be a number-one priority, physical fitness is also important.
“Stay off the computers and the video games — at least for a little bit — and go outside and play,” he said.
Part of the presentation promoted the National Football League’s “Play 60” program that encourages kids to play outside for one hour each day.
Brock said that as a kid, he often played freeze tag, basketball and would race his friends up and down the street, that is, until the street lights came on. Then it was time to go home, he said.
Paul Johns, Assistant Director of Community Relations for the Seahawks, and former Seahhawk (1981-84) also provided academic encouragement to the gym full of elementary students.
“You have to be better in school that you are anything else,” he said.
An average NFL career lasts for 3.4 years, so athletes need to have an education to fall back on. They also need to have the skills to be a successful football player; that means the ability to read and study.
Seahawks only spend about an hour and a half on the field when they are at work, he said. The rest of the time, the team is reviewing films, studying and reading the playbook.
Hard work and teamwork is also a key to success.
“Learn how to help others and be respectful,” Johns said. “Be proud of what you are. Be proud of what you do, and you will be successful.”
Principal Tammy Watanabe summed up Brock and Johns’ message, “Education is important; stay in school; go to college, and be kind in words and actions,” before sending the fifth-grade students outside for some time on the playfield with Brock and Seahawks’ mascot Blitz.
Brock, Johns and Blitz played chase and tossed around footballs as several teachers and school councelor kept an eye on the commotion.
“It’s nice to have these professional athletes out here encouraging the kids to do well in school,” said fifth-grade teacher Rebecca Urquhart.
Seahawks players also visited students at and Renton Park elementary schools earlier this year to promote physical fitness, academic achievement and the importance of treating others with kindness.