Washington, D.C. – Washington Valor players Reggie Gray, Jake Payne and Khreem Smith joined Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, Athletes for Hope and Explosive Performance for the final Power Up DC program of the school year at Hendley Elementary School. Hendley Elementary is the adopted school for Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation and its teams.
During the program, Gray and Payne assisted with the students’ plank times, and Smith helped time sprints outside. The players also worked on passing drills and routes with students and answered questions about playing in the Arena Football League, how old they were when they started playing football and how important exercise and health has been to achieve success in their careers.
In 2015, Athletes for Hope and former Washington Wizards player Awvee Storey partnered to launch a physical fitness initiative, Power Up DC, with the goal of encouraging and inspiring third- and fourth-grade students to exercise a minimum of 60 minutes per day. The program is modeled from the Active Schools program design, which encourages schools to reduce childhood obesity and improve health outcomes as an “active school.”
Power Up DC launched at Hendley Elementary in September and held eight monthly exercise sessions with the participants as part of the afterschool program. A typical program included dynamic stretching and skills testing stations including planks, agility and sprints. Students have also participated in basketball, street hockey and football drills. All participating students received and wore fitness bands throughout the school year that tracked their physical activity levels while also measuring perceptions about physical activity at the pre-program, active program and post-program stages.
Student participants from Hendley Elementary, along with students from the KIPP DC WILL Academy Shaw Campus Power Up DC program, were recognized on the court during halftime at the Washington Wizards game on April 6 for their accomplishments.
The Power Up DC program utilized professional athletes, alumni, staff and partners of Monumental Sports & Entertainment throughout the school year and focused on why physical fitness has played a critical role in their lives and careers, while leading fitness activities and recognizing student achievements.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation supports the charitable efforts of the professional teams under its umbrella: the Washington Capitals, Mystics, Valor and Wizards and the Baltimore Brigade. MSE Foundation is committed to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and focuses on the following five pillars to maximize its impact on the community: youth basketball, football and hockey; education and scholarship; pediatric health and fitness; military and veterans' affairs; and hunger and homelessness.