Red Wings score healthy victory at local elementary school

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published November 30, 2015

 Kenwood Elementary School kindergartners run in place during the Nov. 19 Detroit Red Wings School Assembly Program. All students learned how to stay healthy by exercising and eating healthy meals.

Kenwood Elementary School kindergartners run in place during the Nov. 19 Detroit Red Wings School Assembly Program. All students learned how to stay healthy by exercising and eating healthy meals.

Photo by Deb Jacques

CLAWSON — Detroit Red Wings forwards Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening stopped by Kenwood Elementary School last month to spread positive messages about health, mind and body.

The players visited the school on Nov. 19 to teach kids about the importance of being healthy through exercise and a proper diet. The hockey players also showed the students somet stick-handling techniques.

The visit was a part of the Red Wings School Assembly Program, which introduces elementary students to hockey through street and floor hockey.

Both hockey stars shared their favorite ways to exercise.

“I like going for runs with my dog,” Glendening said.

“I play a lot of soccer, and I also walk my dog,” Sheahan told the students. He added that he also likes to play lacrosse, basketball and a little bit of volleyball.

“Playing other sports is super important, and it builds your athleticism,” he said.

The kids cheered loudly throughout the school gymnasium during the entire presentation.

School assembly team member Jim Biewer spoke to the kids about what he said were the two most important factors of a healthy life: education and dedication.

The team members explained that a part of dedication involves setting goals.

“Doesn’t it feel good when you achieve a goal you set for yourself?” Biewer asked the kids. “It feels awesome, doesn’t it?”

Biewer explained that Red Wings players had set goals for themselves while they were in school — goals such as getting good grades, doing well on their tests, reading, exercising and eating healthy lunches.

Biewer told the group that the Red Wings would like all of the kids to tell their parents the importance of filling their lunches with healthy foods every day.

He also told students to steer clear of bullying behavior and embrace that everyone is unique.

“You’ll never see our Red Wing players teasing one another or making fun of one another because they don’t do that,” Biewer said. “They love that they are so different from one another.”

He told the kids to be kind and never put someone down.

“Instead, you are going to learn from that student and be kind to that student,” he said. “Because if you can do that, it will make you here at Kenwood a much smarter and better school, just like it makes our Red Wing players a much better hockey team on the ice.”

Fifth-grader Kyle Gougeon said he really liked the assembly — especially the shootout.

“Be really nice to your teachers and don’t let the Red Wings down,” Gougeon said he learned.

The afternoon assembly concluded with a shootout between the teachers and students, with the kids taking the victory.

Before he left, Sheahan told the kids, “Enjoy school, guys. Have fun with your friends, listen to your teachers, do your homework. It will pay off later in life.”

“Be nice to one another and enjoy each other’s company, and have a lot of fun,” Glendening added.

The Red Wings School Assembly Program is sponsored by the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, Michigan Education Savings Program and the Kroger Company of Michigan.

The program has visited about 50 schools this season; its goal is to reach 115 elementary buildings.

The program is in its sixth year. In total, it has visited 545 schools and reached more than 272,500 students. It also has provided 1,090 sets of hockey equipment.

The Detroit Red Wings Foundation provides each school it visits with two full sets of floor hockey equipment, including sticks and nets. Every student receives a Red Wings folder filled with informational tools to take away from the program.