The San Diego Padres and the Houston Astros hosted the 2015 PLAY (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) campaign on Tuesday, June 2 in order to educate local youth groups about the importance of overall health and wellness.
The Padres event, led by head athletic trainer Todd Hutcheson and his athletic training staff, featured pitcher Tyson Ross as the player representative. Ross spent time at Petco Park signing autographs for over 75 local San Diego area youth, while also fielding questions during the Q&A session to complete the event.
Along with Ross, Taylor Hooton Foundation representative Don Hooton Jr. and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation representative Jeff Klinger, educated the kids about the dangers associated with steroid abuse and also the importance of oral hygiene and overall health.
At the same time in Houston, the Astros — led by head athletic trainer Nate Lucero, assistant athletic trainer Rex Jones and their athletic training staff — hosted over 50 youngsters at Minute Maid Park for an equally successful and educational PLAY event. Don Hooton Sr. represented the Taylor Hooton Foundation, while Mike Spehr of the Henry Schein Cares Foundation addressed the group about the importance of healthy habits both on and off the playing field.
Joining Hooton and Spehr were Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick and pitcher Lance McCullers. Marisnick and McCullers hosted a Q&A session for the kids, and shared valuable insight about their road to the Major Leagues, including healthy lifestyle choices and habits that have helped them succeed on the field.
Created in 2004 by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), the PLAY (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) campaign was formed to raise awareness about children’s health issues and the obesity epidemic in the United States. PLAY has conducted over 150 events inside all 30 Major-League ballparks, reaching tens of thousands of America’s young people with positive messages about making healthy decisions and living a more active and healthy lifestyle.