Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Mike Peterson is one of 32 NFL players set to receive the President's Volunteer Service Award honoring players for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to local communities with a special emphasis on promoting health and fitness to young people.
As a result of a newly formed partnership between the NFL and The White House, two separate Presidential Councils – the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation and the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports – have joined for the first time to award one player from each NFL club with the President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA).
Peterson was nominated for the ongoing work he performs through his foundation hosting free youth football camps both in Jacksonville and in his hometown of Alachua, FL. Between 250-300 youth ages eight to 17 participate in each camp annually. Peterson also hosts an annual Health and Family Fun Day that takes place in Alachua where seminars and demonstrations are performed promoting physical fitness, good health and eating habits.
"I am honored to receive this award," Peterson said. "We are role models as NFL players and my goal with the foundation has been to give back to the community where I grew up and where I now play. We decided early on that part of our emphasis with our work was going to be about physical fitness and promoting good health. We have been able to accomplish our goals through our various football camps and other activities throughout the year."
Thanksgiving, a time of family and togetherness, is also a time to focus on the importance of keeping kids healthy and giving them safe places to play. In support of NFL PLAY 60, the league's youth health and fitness campaign, all Thanksgiving weekend games will raise awareness of the childhood obesity epidemic and showcase the NFL and its clubs' commitment to help reverse this trend.
NFL PLAY 60, which encourages the importance of staying active for at least 60 minutes a day, brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with an impressive roster of partner organizations. Since the program was launched last year, the NFL has committed $100 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements.