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Gates back in school

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Jen Rojas
    Posted Oct 27, 2009

    As part of the NFL / JCPenney’s “Take a Player to School” program, 13-year-old Kristina Cogdill of Escondido had the thrill of having Chargers tight end Antonio Gates join her at her school on Tuesday.

    Antonio Gates[​IMG] spent Tuesday morning giving insight and advice to the Raiders.

    Relax, Chargers fans. Not those Raiders.

    He chatted with the Hidden Valley Middle School Raiders in Escondido. It was all a part of the NFL / JCPenney’s “Take a Player to School” program through which 13-year-old Kristina Cogdill brought the Pro Bowl tight end to school to talk about leadership and healthy lifestyles.

    “I’ve been a part of this program for some time now and I feel strongly about spreading the message for kids to be active,” said Gates, who has participated in the program the past three years. “I believe fitness, playing sports and just being active can not only lead to good health, but also can teach kids lessons in discipline and working well with others.”

    Cogdill, a seventh grader, was one of 34 lucky winners out of more than 75,000 youngsters that entered the “Take a Player to School” contest.

    “It was so exciting being picked up at home by a limo and meeting Antonio,” said Cogdill, who was thrilled with her first ever ride in a limo and getting a chance to sit next to Gates. “I asked him some football questions but was mainly focused on how tall he was.”

    The Take a Player to School program focuses on inspiring students to make healthy choices and to set positive academic and extracurricular goals. Players throughout the NFL helped students in their teams’ cities get 60 minutes of exercise each day as part of the NFL PLAY 60 youth health and fitness campaign.

    Gates spoke to more than 300 students about the importance of good health and led some kids in fitness activities.

    “Active doesn’t mean just playing sports,” said Gates. “Walking your dog, riding bikes, skate boarding or even just cutting the grass are all forms of being active and burning calories. It’s all good for your health and heart.”

    The message didn’t escape Cogdill.

    “I think it’s important to be fit and be active every day,” Cogdill said. “You shouldn’t just sit around. You need to get up and be active.”

    After Gates spoke to students on being fit, he emphasized the importance of preparation.

    “To me preparation is the key to success,” Gates explained. “You just don’t fall into success. When you have a test, if you prepared, then answers come to you easily and you can get an “A”. It’s the same with me when I prepare for a game. I prepare Monday through Friday and my test is on Sunday. I’m always aiming for an “A ”.

    As part of the “Take a Player to School” program, the NFL and JCPenney also made a $2,000 donation to Hidden Valley Middle School to support their in-school and after-school physical fitness programs.

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