LAS VEGAS - Hundreds of children had the opportunity to rub elbows with NFL players, plus learn the importance of physical activity at a popular event held during Super Bowl week in Las Vegas.
Play 60 Kids Day took place at the Super Bowl Experience, the interactive "football theme park" located inside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
The Play 60 program is the league's national youth health and wellness initiative.
Created in 2007, Play 60 is a team effort with the American Heart Association to encourage kids to be active and to motivate them to be live a healthy lifestyle.
Over the course of Kids Day event, 1,600 local elementary students from the Las Vegas area participated in a number of football-themed activities, including running, catching, throwing and tackling.
The kids not only received top notch instruction from coaches, they also had a chance to meet NFL players past and present.
"When you bring guys here like myself and these kids have an opportunity to get an autograph and get to know these players, I think that makes a world of difference," said Thomas Davis, a retired linebacker, who played in the NFL for 15-years, mostly with the Carolina Panthers. "It boosts their overall confidence, and knowing that, hey, I can be just like these guys one day just by simply having an interaction with us.
During the event, Thomas and other instructors made sure to educate the kids about the importance of being physically active at least 60 minutes each day.
"Now kids have cell phones, they have iPads, they have video games where they just sit in the house," said Davis. "They don't really get outside, so I love this initiative that the NFL is doing and keeping these kids active 60 minutes a day."
After hearing the players and instructors speak during the event, kids said they understand the important message that was delivered.
"It's important to be active because to kick stay healthy, you want to stay in shape, you always want to follow something you really love so you can become something big," said 6th grade student Milton Sanchez.
According to the league, the Play 60 campaign has provided financial support to over 73,000 schools across the county to create programs and resources to boost activity levels.
To help encourage families to take part in the initiative, there is a free Play 60 app where parents can create activity plans, daily workouts and track their kids fitness progress.