Redskins player Nick Sundberg coaches the kids on his hula hoop relay team during the Redskins' 80th anniversary event at the Montgomery County Recreation Center July 24.
Local kids ran relay races, threw footballs, and hula hooped yesterday at the at the Montgomery County Recreation Center, but it wasn't just another day at summer camp. That's because they were slapping fives with their favorite professional football players in between each event.
Redskins players and alumni are touring the mid-Atlantic stopping at pep rallies for fans and helping kids get in shape to kick off the start of their 80th anniversary season, and they stopped by the D.C. area facility Tuesday.
"This is our chance give back, this is our chance to say thank you," said Charles Mann, who won two Superbowls with the team.
Days where kids get to play with current players are invaluable, he added. "It's a tremendous opportunity for these kids to say, 'they don't seem much different from me,'" Mann said.
It's the players more than anyone else who really help encourage the kids to get up and get active, said Gabriel Albornoz, director of the Montgomery County Department of Recreation.
"It's so important for our kids to hear that message directly from their heroes and the guys they look up to," Albornoz said.
But some of the kids didn't think about it as exercise.
"I think it's just having fun, just having fun," said one youngster on the field.
The Redskins will start their own training Thursday.