TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Officials with Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl committee are teaming up with the Buccaneers to help support the youth in the Bay Area. The initiative Forever 55 is a long term effort it will be carried out by the players and staff with a plan to deliver health and wellness resources to build up students for future success.

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A new initiative, Forever 55 includes a $2 million investment by the Super Bowl host committee and the NFL, honing in on pillars they say best reflect community needs in the Bay Area. Physical fitness, mental health and emotional well being – these are among the key focuses for Super Bowl LV officials as they team up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to support the youth in Tampa Bay.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-owner, Darcie Glazer Kassewitz says, “There’s a tremendous opportunity for us to uplift community and really improve their social, physical and mental well being. We are going into the elementary schools and providing physical equipment to improve the children’s physical quality there. And then in the middle schools, we’re providing physical equipment for flag football, we’re providing mentor videos because we found that physical activity combined with mentorship really improves kids in school.”

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Tampa’s Mayor, Jane Castor shared her enthusiasm for the program, “That’s another element of many that I love about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is that there’s that expectation to perform on the field, but just as important is the expectation to perform in our community. You know, these young children are the future of our city and so to be able to support them physically, emotionally educationally – to really set them on a path for success is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime.”

Players and staff plan to mentor one-on-one with students who will have access to donated Buccaneers fitness equipment, instructional player videos and incentive prizes encouraging maximum effort and behavior in school. Hillsborough County Public School Superintendent Addison Davis took a moment to praise the benefits of Forever 55 in his district, saying “What it does, it just introduces our young learners with an opportunity of new interest where they also can engage in physical activity, and also be able to contribute to successes in our classrooms and particularly in life.”

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On top of these leadership programs, officials are tackling healthy eyesight for these students, along with character playbooks for the City of Tampa parks and recreation centers to educate students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships. “The game is just there for that week, but it’s really important for us to continue the legacy of that experience and really uplift our community for many years to come.”

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