Bruschi ready to tackle fitness issues for president

By Albert R. Breer
Globe Staff / June 27, 2010

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Tedy Bruschi is not likely to ever hold the office of US president, but the ex-Patriot linebacker got the chance to be sworn in like one.

On Tuesday, Bruschi took an oath like Barack Obama did 17 months ago, as Bruschi was added to the 16-person President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. He spent two days in Washington with his new colleagues, learning the ropes and helping run an event for area high schoolers and middle schoolers geared to educate them on proper health.

Bruschi went through a rigorous process to earn the appointment.

“I don’t know how they found me and picked me, and I was kind of shocked they did, but I’m honored to volunteer my time,’’ Bruschi said. “The First Lady is committed to fighting childhood obesity, and getting kids out to exercise.

“That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. I’ve got a lot of experience with that. So when she’s talking about it, I already know what she wants.’’

Bruschi and his wife Heidi, herself a former softball and volleyball player at the University of Arizona, made the trip together and got to work with committee co-chair Dominique Dawes, the former Olympic gymnast, among others. The other co-chair, Saints quarterback Drew Brees — the only other NFL player on the team — couldn’t make this one, but Bruschi is looking forward to being on the same side as the Super Bowl MVP.

“It was a thrill for me being around Dominique Dawes and [figure skater] Michelle Kwan, spending some time with some huge names I’ve watched,’’ he said.

Michelle Obama added a nutritional component to the council this year, and famed chef Dan Barber was added to the group, which includes a variety of big-name athletes.

But aside from just meeting some interesting people, the fact that the Bruschis have three young sons adds meaning to this service for the Patriot great. And part of what Bruschi would like to do, as part of this group, is to educate parents on promoting healthy lifestyles for their kids.

“We’re very dedicated to teaching our kids about exercise, about being active, getting out of the house,’’ said Bruschi. “Both of us were athletes, and it’s something we’ve wanted to teach our kids from a young age. If you teach kids as they grow up, they remember, and it sticks with them.’’

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