BOSTON - Hundreds of students at the James Condon Elementary School in South Boston were treated to an interactive press conference on Wednesday afternoon as part of the new partnership between the Boston Bruins and Boston Public Schools to support fitness in schools.
Through the Boston Bruins BFit School Assembly Program, the organization donated $80,000 worth of Franklin street hockey equipment to 80 elementary schools in Boston, providing 40,000 students access to new gear while teaching them about the importance of physical fitness, nutrition, and respecting their peers.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh, CEO of Delaware North's Boston Holdings Charlie Jacobs, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools Tommy Chang, Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans, and Executive Director of the Boston Bruins Foundation Bob Sweeney were among those in attendance to support the initiative.
"It's great to see that the Bruins are really strong advocates here in the city," said Walsh. "I asked the question, internally, how many kids like sports over video games, and not every hand went up. I think that when we were growing up, it was all about sports; it wasn't about video games. We need to work to get more kids active."
Video: Bruins Donate Franklin Hockey Equipment
Several of the speakers shared positive lifestyle tips to the attentive students, many of whom dawned black and gold, before Bruins Director of Health, Fitness, and Wellness John Whitesides energized the crowd and taught some basic exercises and stretches while passing on some words of advice.
"There's a number of wonderful messages that were shared today, including nutrition and fitness, but also the love of the game," said Jacobs. "It's a great event. I'm really proud to be a part of it."
Rookie defenseman and Charlestown native Matt Grzelcyk made a surprise appearance to support the cause, taking part in a street hockey shootout and interacting with the young fans.
"It's great on the Bruins to put together this donation, because hockey is kind of an expensive sport, and every dollar matters when it comes to hockey equipment," said Grzelcyk. "It's a huge donation and, obviously, we want to get more kids involved in hockey. I think it's great, and it's a great opportunity…I think it has a huge impact on kids their age."
Since the B-Fit Program began in 2016, the Bruins have donated 250 sets of equipment to schools and community centers across New England, supplying hockey equipment to over 100,000 children.