WAVERLY, Iowa -- One seventh grader from eastern Iowa has the chance of a lifetime--to step on to the field at this year’s Super Bowl--but she needs the public's help to get there.
Olivia Eckerman is a 7th grader at Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School. A gymnast and a dancer, Olivia entered a contest to be the next NFL Play 60 Super Kid.
“I am an athlete and I know the importance of eating healthy and getting active, so I wanted to encourage others to get active and eat healthy as well," she said.
NFL Play 60 is an initiative designed to get kids active for at least 60 minutes a day to fight childhood obesity.
“Sadly, obesity is a problem, and getting active can help you feel better overall. If you start getting active now, as you get older you’ll just keep getting active because it’s your daily routine,” said Olivia.
The NFL Play 60 Super Kid gets to be on the field at this year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis to give the game ball to the referee before the coin toss. In order to be part of the competition, Olivia first had to submit a video of her personal touchdown celebration; that got her into the top 30. Next, she had to submit a 60-second video describing how she represented the Play 60 lifestyle.
“It’s been really fun, it’s also been really nerve-wracking because sometimes we’ll submit the video and it will be a while until we hear back,” said Olivia.
When she heard back from the judges, she was in the top eight. She then had a 15-minute interview with the NFL, during which she discussed how she worked with her school to create a healthy environment by starting a walking club and holding weekly tastings of healthy food. That was enough to make her one of the top three finalists.
“Oh, it’s incredible, we’re very proud of her, most of all because she’s just being who she is. Just be yourself and that’s the best she can do,” said Olivia’s mother, Sue.
Now Olivia needs your help. The winner will be selected through a combination of a popular vote and what they've submitted so far, with a third of the total score coming from the vote. Olivia says she wants to win not just for the experience, but the platform it would give her.
“It would be super cool, and then I can just show a bunch of people if you try really hard you can do something that you want to do. I love to get active and I’d like to encourage others on a large scale to get active, as well,” she said.
Voting has already started and will end on December 5th. To vote for Olivia, go to superkid.nflrush.com.