Throughout his six years in the NFL, Kansas City Chiefs veteran safety
But on Wednesday afternoon, Berry got to meet a special fan that is inspiring those around her as well.
Sophie, a seventh grader at Mission Trail Middle School in Olathe, was this year’s National Fuel Up to Play 60 “Super Kid.”
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program that was launched by the National Dairy Council (NDC) and the NFL, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives.
“I heard Sophie mentioned that I was her favorite player, and I just wanted to come out and show some support,” Berry explained before an assembly to honor Sophie, Play 60 and the Midwest Dairy Council.
Sophie, who will be attending the Super Bowl festivities next week and was even at the Chiefs’ playoff game against the Steelers leading “The Chop” on the big screen, knew there was an assembly on Wednesday for her and the event, but she had no idea her favorite player was going to be there to honor her.
“She’s a little ball of energy,” Berry said of Sophie. “She’s very excited about what’s going on. She walked into the room and she’s just glowing. She kind of just took the whole attention of the room.
“It was just natural.”
“It was a very pleasant surprise,” Sophie said of meeting Berry. “I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, is this really happening?’ I walked up to him and we introduced ourselves, we talked about fantasy football and what they do in the offseason and what it’s like to be a part of a team. It was really cool.”
Sophie took time to explain why Berry is her favorite player.
“Just his story, it’s so inspirational,” she added. “I just love his message. I just love that he’s always encouraging others to be brave and to never give up.”
The Chiefs have been strong supporters of the NFL’s Play 60 movement since its introduction and continue to partner with the Midwest Dairy Association’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program to encourage youth to eat healthy and live active lifestyles.
As part of the program, Sophie was able to attend the national summit last summer at Purdue with all of the other state ambassadors.
She’s worked with the Kansas Family Physicians, the Kansas Department of Education and she was selected as one of three students last December to speak with the USDA about school meals and what she thought students needed to be doing.
“She’s been a wonderful ambassador,” Robyn Stuewe, the health and wellness program manager for the Midwest Dairy Council, explained. “The best thing is when you work with her, she’s willing to try new things and step up and do some things.
“She’s also not afraid to give you her ideas and what she thinks might work. That’s really being a leader.”
As Berry learned on Wednesday, Sophie has a personality that’s infectious, and she’s been using this platform to help other kids find new and different ways to exercise while also eating healthy.
“This has been such a great experience,” she added. “Just being able to share my message with others and encourage other kids to get out there and play and eat right.
“It’s really moving.”
From a player that’s consistently shown to move and inspire some of the best athletes in the world, it was Berry who was inspired on Wednesday.
“I think she has some bright things in her future, even from meeting her for just a few minutes.”
Here's that video: