NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The same city that proved it would not be defeated by a flood three years ago stood up to another round of spring rain Saturday and showed soggy conditions can’t dampen spirits.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, the Tennessee Titans, volunteers, corporate sponsors and non-profit organizations teamed to host the second annual Mayor’s Field Day with the Titans at LP Field, providing families a unique setting to spend time together and participate in fun activities.
Mayor Dean has launched multiple initiatives to encourage active and healthy lifestyles, which overlaps with a goal the Titans and the National Football League have in the community. Saturday’s event was in addition to Mayor Dean’s 100-mile walk challenges and other opportunities.
|The second annual Mayor's Field Day with the Titans offered families fun activities at LP Field. |
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“The idea is we want kids to develop healthy habits early, which means getting exercise, and this is a great way of showing them that exercise can be fun,” Dean said. “My goal is to get the city thinking about being healthy or getting exercise every day and dealing with this issue of obesity, which is a challenge to our entire country.”
Children of multiple ages enjoyed field day events on the playing surface. There were team trolleys that several people partnered together to move ski-like panels with ropes attached, a tire roll, a tennis ball relay, a three-legged race and football toss on the field, as well as other interactive displays on the concourse where Titans
Velasco gave Zumba a try, and Gibson joined Mayor Dean in taking a ride on a zip line that was set up between the stadium and downtown’s skyline.
Mooney said it brought back memories of his youth when he loved field days, especially the running events, even when hurdles were involved.
“It was a great opportunity to get the kids out here and try to focus on being healthy and get them moving and get them active,” Mooney said. “The weather’s not too great, but they’re coming out and having a great time. It’s good for them and great for us. … It’s always great to see the support the Titans get.”
Mooney said he hopes the message of the day resonates with young people so they will “move around and have fun” this summer instead of occupying all their free time with video games.
“Get outside and make some friends while you’re doing it,” Mooney said. “It’s not just active and physical, it’s also social, so it’s good for them to get out and have fun with it.”
Don MacLachlan, Titans executive vice president of administration and facilities, said the Titans were happy to open up LP Field for the free event and pleased so many people attended. Another treat for participants was the opportunity to see themselves on the video boards while they were on the field.
“It’s a unique experience to be down on an NFL field,” MacLachlan said. “They had fun. They were slipping and sliding, but they had a really good time. We want more people to be involved in our facility at LP Field. For them to be able to come out and live like Titans for a day is a great experience.
“Mayor Dean has always had the initiative of telling everyone to stay healthy and he does it himself,” MacLachlan added. “He’s out running 5Ks and encouraging people not only to do great in school by reading and studying but by getting out during the week and being active. This will continue to grow each year, and it’s something we want to continue to get involved with as good community partners with Metro Government. The Titans players were out here and partook in some of the events, and kids really had a great time.”
Mayor Dean also had a special surprise and presented MacLachlan with a birthday cake.
He thanked the Titans, the partners of Metro Government, the non-profits and volunteers who helped execute the event and encouraged residents to enjoy Nashville’s parks and greenways and upcoming activities.
“One of the things that makes Nashville so special is the level of volunteer spirit in this community,” Mayor Dean said. “The Titans have been wonderful partners on this. … Volunteers are critical, and having support from different companies and non-profit groups has made this possible.
“This year we’ve added ponchos,” Dean continued. “The weather is a challenge, but people are showing up. People are excited about being at LP Field. Think about a young kid actually having an opportunity to play a game on the field where the Titans play. That’s a pretty big deal.”