By E. Freeman
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The TSU Tigers’ football team recently took time to help some tiger cubs understand the importance of staying fit. The program on April 1 was part of activities planned by the university’s Early Learning Center to engage its 2 to 5-year-olds in fun activities with the football players, while giving them an early start in physical fitness.
“It was all fun and an effort to get these young kids an early start in physical activities,” said Coach Rod Reed.
Dr. Beatrice Harris, the center’s director, said she enjoyed watching the football players interact with the youngsters.
“We really just wanted the football team to show the Little Tigers of the Early Learning Center how to catch and throw a football, “ she said.
Chris Collins, a middle linebacker with the Tigers and a sophomore mass communications major, said the experience with the children brought back old memories.
“I remember when I was a little kid, older kids would come and play with us and actually take us through football drills at summer camp,” Collins said. “It was just a lot of fun, and something these kids will remember for a long time.”
Collins, who led the drills in the Indoor Practice Field, said the children did stretches, ran up and down the practice field, and jumped over dummies, “like we do in real practice.”
“This teaches the kids a little discipline like we do as athletes to get ready and get warmed up for the season,” Reed said. “Hopefully this will teach them the importance of staying fit.”
The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences runs the Early Learning Center, which conducts research in all phases of early education and child development.
Seventeen children are enrolled at the center, which runs from 7:45 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.