Former WVU coach to speak in Ritchie

PARKERSBURG – A former head football coach at West Virginia University will be among the participants today for the inauguration of a fitness program at Ritchie County Middle School to fight childhood obesity.

Don Nehlen will be among the speakers that will include Aaron Beasley, Jimmy Gary and John Browning, who played under the former coach during his tenure with the Mountaineers.

The program was developed by the ‘nPLAY Foundation, a nonprofit organization of active and retired professional athletes dedicated to encouraging schoolchildren to be active and eat healthier.

The ex-WVU football players will exercise with students. Four elementary schools in Ritchie County will participate.

The ‘nPLAY Foundation is affiliated with the HealthierUS School Challenge.

Audrey Rowe, administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., will participate in the event. The federal program provides children and needy families with better access to food and a more healthful diet through its 15 nutrition assistance programs and nutrition education efforts.

The foundation is a coalition of 40 professional athletes, both active and retired, representing 17 sports. These athletes have united to fight childhood obesity by working with administrators, teachers, students and parents to make schools a place where kids can be active, eat healthier and integrate wellness into everyday culture.

Also participating is Ed Toman, superintendent of schools of Ritchie County. Classroom demonstrations begin at 10:35 a.m.