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Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health started their Change the Play summer-camp tour Tuesday in Bloomington. After another stop in West Lafayette on Thursday, the program will resume this fall at schools throughout Indiana, with additional activities that kids can "tackle" at home with friends and family.
Change the Play focuses on developing healthy habits among children, and Luck's passion for fitness and well-being motivated him to team up with Riley Hospital to launch the program. Speaking at Tuesday’s event, he explained that he enjoys motivating children to take part in various activities, and he encourages everyone to get involved, including friends, family, and parents.
"I have three younger siblings, and every summer we would play sports together with my mom and my dad, and that was what we did to have fun,” said Luck. “So it's a big, big part of my life."
Dr. Jeff Sperring, Riley’s president and CEO, said the Colts' signal-caller is a perfect partner for the program: “Luck makes the biggest impact in this. We can talk all day long about kids being healthy and doing the right things, but if you’re a kid and Andrew Luck says it, you pay attention.”
Sperring worries about what the 50-year effects of today’s childhood obesity will be. “Riley has always been known as a leader in children’s health, but we didn’t put as much emphasis on how to prevent kids from getting sick,” he said.
Change the Play encourages 20 minutes of activity every day. And what could be better than tossing the pigskin with an NFL star? “I like catching the passes from Andrew Luck,” said a grinning Nathaniel Dixon, one of the children participating in the Bloomington summer camp. It was, not surprisingly, his favorite part of the day.
For more information on Riley Hospital's Change the Play program, visit play.iuhealth.org.
Photos by Katelyn Jamison
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