By Jane Morice | Cleveland.com
Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes joined Tribe athletic trainers Tuesday morning at Progressive Field to host a stop of the national PLAY campaign, which advocates healthy lifestyle choices for children.
Members of Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland came to the ballfield to stretch and run drills with Cleveland Indians trainers and strength coaches. The team has held a PLAY clinic for at least five years, assistant strength and conditioning coach Nelson Perez said.
“This helps keep kids aware of their bodies,” head strength and conditioning coach Joe Kessler said. “Some of them may think it’s ‘work,’ and it is, but we’re trying to teach kids that being active can be fun.”
The children were grouped together to go through stations, including one where Gomes answered questions.
“Growing up, looking at someone who was at the level that I wanted to be at, I listened,” Gomes said. “This is fun. It gives the kids something to look forward to.”
The PLAY campaign, created in 2004 by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society, works with MLB Charities and the Taylor Hooton Foundation to raise awareness about childhood obesity and health issues.
Since its inception, PLAY has held more than 300 events at all 30 MLB parks. The Taylor Hooton Foundation in a non-profit that educates young people about the harm of performance-enhancing drugs; the organization was formed after its namesake died at 17 after using steroids in 2004.