Cedar-Riverside 6th grader proud ambassador for NFL event

- Football season may seem far away, but an annual tradition at Winter Park on Saturday brought together students from the most active schools in Minnesota for "Fuel Up to Play 60."

Among the 1,400 schools that participate, 180 students were chosen from the 34 schools said to be the most active. Sixth-grader Samira Barquatimir has been looking forward to returning to Winter Park she first attended the program last year. Samira attends Cedar-Riverside in Minneapolis, and after writing in her application about Muslim-appropriate basketball uniforms for her team, she earned the spot as the state ambassador. She has traveled to Chicago meet other young ambassadors who all share a passion for inspiring others kids eat healthy and get an hour of activity every day.

“The kids that around my age are not that healthy, and I just want to help that,” she said. “I really don't want that to affect us in the future because we are the next generation. We are the ones who will be elders.”

The Midwest Dairy Council teams up with several NFL teams around the country, including the Vikings six years ago. Players taking part say it's a chance to remind kids that personal health is more important than what's on any scoreboard.

“It’s cool to teach them what brought us to where we are and how we do things in our profession,” wide receiver Adam Thielen said.

For these third- through eighth-graders it's a day full of learning about nutrition, celebrating their hard work, and of course, flexing some muscle.

“I feel like I'm still a little kid.  I have kids myself, and try to stay active with them,” running back Matt Asiata said.


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