The school district began their partnership with the NFL in September 2015, when former Giants player Rashad Jennings visited Gregory Elementary School. In the spring of 2016, middle school students visited the Jets training facility in Florham Park and this year selected students will attend a special event hosted by the Giants at South Street Seaport.
Partnership with the NFL requires following the "Fuel Up to Play 60" playbook containing sports and nutrition initiatives that the West Orange School District has already begun to implement thanks to grant monies received from the NFL. With the help of Kevin Alvine, Physical Education and Health Supervisor for West Orange Schools K-12, physical education teachers at all schools developed age-appropriate "fitness combine" programs for students. Fitness combines are part of the daily training and tryout regimes of professional football players that test endurance, power, strength, balance and agility.
"The Fitness Combine parallels what the athletes do in the NFL," said Alvine.
The first fitness combine was designed last year by physical education teachers at Edison Middle School.
"The program has really caught on this year in our physical education department," he continued, and much of the equipment that we purchased with our Fuel Up to Play 60 grant is used as well."