INDIANAPOLIS – Work for Andrew Luck on Tuesday morning was at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center lifting weights and conditioning.
His afternoon agenda wasn't full of rest.
Instead Luck headed down to the Indiana Statehouse where he spoke in front of legislatures to promote his "Change the Play" program with Riley Hospital.
[*Click here for a video from Luck's visit to the Statehouse
Dr. Paul Haut, Riley Hospital Interim President Haut, and Luck joined elected leaders to discuss "Change the Play"—the health, fitness and nutrition program developed by the nationally ranked children's hospital and the NFL All-Pro QB, designed to empower kids to be the quarterbacks of their own health. Change the Play aims to reach beyond hospital walls and equip kids with the tools needed to make better choices related to health, fitness and "life" topics such as healthy eating, stress management, reading, sleep and academics. The Indiana General Assembly honored the program with a concurrent resolution with bi-partisan support in both chambers.
"It's an honor to receive this acknowledgement from state legislators for the impact Change the Play is having on Hoosier kids" said Andrew Luck. "We're trying to get kids excited about taking responsibility for their health and give them the tools needed to make better decisions. Building strong, health-minded kids will build stronger communities."
"Riley has long advocated for children's health, from the very basic to the very specialized," said Dr. Paul Haut, chief medical officer and interim president, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. "We're fortunate to have Andrew as a partner who shares the vision of wanting to see the children of our state lead healthy, long lives and have every chance to learn, grow and succeed." He continues, "Andrew is a great role model for these kids. Backed by the bench strength of Riley, together we will make an impact on the health of kids in this state and beyond."
Change the Play has reached more than 20,000 kids since launch. The program launched in 2013 with an online fitness challenge and has grown to include summer camps, a kids club and is being shared in more than 100 schools across the state.
"There are decisions we make every day that contribute how we feel – what we eat, how much sleep we get, what we read, how we deal with stress, how often we get out and move," said Luck. "Just getting outside and taking a walk or kicking a ball around is great. It's not always about being the best in a given sport."
Haut and Luck were also accompanied by DJ Morton, a third-grade student from Fishers Elementary and his teacher, Mrs. Meghan Trees. They were on hand to testify to the program's impact on kids in the classroom. "I try to listen to what my mom and dad tell me," said DJ Morton grinning sheepishly. "And of course, Mrs. Trees or my doctor. But when Andrew gives me advice – wow. Suddenly being healthy is really cool."
The resolution was authored by House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), and co-authored by Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City), Rep. Kathy Kreag Richardson (R-Noblesville) with Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne), and Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) serving as first and second sponsors, respectively, in the Senate.