Tuesday evening, the Chiefs Community Caring team, led by members of the Chiefs Rookie Club, Chiefs cheerleaders and K.C. Wolf hosted a Play 60 clinic for approximately 50 special needs children.
The event was held at the YMCA Challenger Sports Complex, a facility designed for the inclusion of athletes with physical, developmental and intellectual disabilities.
"We really owe a lot to the Chiefs, KC Wolf and the cheerleaders," said Raegan Schurr, adaptive program director for the YMCA Greater Kansas City Challenger Program. "We are fortunate enough to have not just a great facility, but also [Chiefs members] coming out here really excites our kids. They love that connection, and watching [the players] gives them someone to be like and know they have that chance to play and be awesome, too."
Chiefs players assisted in Play 60 drills for the first half of the event, then spent the rest of the time signing autographs for the youth.
"The kids love getting out here and being able to high five, maybe get a selfie or a picture with the Chiefs and kind of show off for them," Schurr said. "This is the future here, and I think that some of the players can kind of see that. It opens a lot of people's eyes that all kids can have a chance to play and have fun."
The Chiefs have made a strong push for the NFL's Play 60 message and the inclusion of all children in the Play 60 program, regardless of physical or mental capabilities. Like the Chiefs, the YMCA holds the belief that all children need to know the importance of staying fit and leading a healthy lifestyle, making the Chiefs and the YMCA great working partners.
This is the third annual NFL Play 60 event the Chiefs have hosted with Challenger.
"I grew up with my brother who is very disabled so that kind of hits home for me," Chiefs rookie center Mitch Morse said. "I've always looked to give back in the community especially with the Special Olympics and others like it. It's great to see all of the other guys kind of jumping on board and really taking flight, and these kids are having a good time."
The program recently finished its flag football program, which gave 114 kids from four different areas of the metro a chance to be active and participate in a team environment. Members of the YMCA's flag football team even got the chance to visit the Chiefs training camp at Missouri Western in St. Joseph, Mo.
The Kansas City Chiefs visited children in a Play 60 event with the YMCA on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.
"This is one of the first opportunities I've had to interact with the kids and people of Kansas City," said Chiefs rookie receiver Chris Conley. "I can remember being a kid and being around someone that I looked up to.
"They know what the Chiefs represent and the Chiefs are something that is so much bigger than just a football team. That invigorates me every day that I go into work, and it invigorates me so much more when I'm out here with the kids. I think of myself as a big kid and any time I get go outside and run around and act silly, I enjoy it and I go at it."
The NFL's Play 60 program encourages children across the nation to incorporate 60 minutes of exercise into their day in an effort to reverse the trend of childhood obesity.
"For me, it's just getting outside maybe taking a walk or playing football," Morse said. "You don't get days like this too often. Time flies by and if you let these days go by on the computer or on the cell phone, you're going to miss out on some really awesome moments."