More Dolphins In The Community
Last year it was landscaping and painting two area elementary schools, but this time a little more fun was involved when it came time for Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin to bring his team on a group community project.
The very popular Dave And Buster’s Restaurant and Arcade in Hollywood served as the backdrop for two hours of fun and games that began with a lesson in healthy eating and proper exercise for close to 100 deserving students. They came from Orchard Villa Elementary and Kelsey L. Pharr Elementary and were chosen for their academic excellence, good citizenship, good attendance and good behavior, as well as being the most improved in their classes.
“We were just changing it up and doing something a little bit different,” Philbin said. “The school thing was a lot of fun obviously as well and we did some finger painting and worked a little bit and this is a little more fun for everybody, less work and more play, and I know the football team enjoys that aspect certainly. I think all of us, myself included, take for granted the position that we have and the opportunity that we have and you don’t know how many young kids you can impact today. Hopefully, a lot of them will look back years from now and remember this day fondly.”
As eager as these kids – and the players – were to hit the arcade and try out all of the different games, there was a little business to take care of in the big theater room in the back. That’s where the energetic students were put through the gauntlet of a stretching routine similar to the one the team goes through before practice, but first up was the team’s nutritionist, Bob Calvin, who gave the kids a quick lesson on the proper foods to eat and how to maintain a proper diet.
Head strength and conditioning coach Darren Krein led the stretching and assistant strength and conditioning coach Dave Puloka, quarterback
“I got a second workout in over here,” Tannehill said. “Darren and Dave had us doing glute bridges and front planks and it was a lot of fun. We got to introduce some of the activities and warm-ups that we do to them and hopefully some of them take it home and start a lifetime of being healthy. They did well. When I saw the list of exercises I was kind of questioning if we’re going to be able to do it or not but they did a good job, they listened and were able to all the exercises.”
Now properly stretched and in awe of the size of the players, the kids were ready to hit the arcade and hit it they did – shooting basketballs, playing pool, trying out their dance steps and winning as many tickets as possible so they could collect prizes at the end. The players looked like big kids at times, especially the new ones like wide receiver
“I come from a situation similar to this where we didn’t have too much and we never really had things like this where professional athletes came to our school,” Wallace said. “It’s very exciting to me and I love doing this and it’s fun. We didn’t too many things like this, fun things, in Pittsburgh when we did community service and I’m excited about being here and doing more of these things.”
Once again, the Dolphins put on a memorable event in the community for the kids and the players got to show their human side without their helmets and pads. The impact they made was easy to see.
“The Dolphins really outdid themselves on this,” said Mark Zaher, Director of School Operations for Miami-Dade schools. “They really outdid themselves because they really put the focus on nutrition, exercise, your body and then said, ‘Let’s go have some fun.’ It’s just amazing and you could see the kids really taking it in when the players and staff talked to them about eating right and doing the proper exercise. These kids just came off the FCAT test so they’re stressed out and this is a little stress reliever for them.”