Hometown Huddle

Chicago Bears linebacker and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor alumnus Jerrell Freeman instructs children ages 7-12 during a pushup challenge in April 2016 as part of the 2016 Hometown Huddle event held at Crusader Stadium on the UMHB campus in Belton.

BELTON — The Hometown Huddle is closing in.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, at Crusader Stadium at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, 900 College St., Belton. Check-in time is 8:30 a.m. It will last until 10:30 a.m.

This event is free for boys and girls ages 7-12.

Children will participate in a day of play with UMHB alumni and Chicago Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman, Titan Total Training CEO Ike Shaw, and players from UMHB’s 2016 NCAA Division III national championship team.

The huddle teaches children the benefit of eating healthy, exercising daily and making smart food choices.

While he wants the children to have fun, there’s more to Hometown Huddle than play, Shaw said.

“They’ll need to listen and take instruction during the day,” he said. “They will also need to help each other out and understand the meaning of cooperation.”

“I want them to understand they need to get moving,” Shaw said. “Most kids spend a lot of time sitting on the coach playing video games.”

Not every child wants to play a sport but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be living a healthy life, he said.

One of the core values of the United Way strategy is health and the Huddle is one way the organization can bring the different partners in the community together.

The youngsters will participate in 10 non-contact football drills led by Titian Total training coaches.

Participants will learn the importance of playing for 60 minutes a day and fighting childhood obesity.

This is the third year for the Hometown Huddle.

Hometown Huddles typically have about 100 participants, Veshell Greene, director of public relations, said.  

Registration is due by 5 p.m. Friday, March 16. For information, call 254-778-8616.

Children who register by March 16 will receive a goody bag that includes a T-shirt.

This program is sponsored by United Way of Central Texas, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, United Rentals and Titian Total Training.