Former NFL players Bell and Pressley talk to the students of the Fit and Fun program at YMCA Camp Cristina.

Recently, YMCA Camp Cristina hosted former NFL fullback Chris Pressley and tight end Jerry Bell to talk to the kids in the Fit and Fun program at the YMCA.

The Fit and Fun program is in its third year after receiving a grant from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County that has allowed it to bring around 20 children nutrition and exercise information in a fun and interactive way. The visit by the two former Buccaneers was just one of numerous activities for its after-school program.

“We’re basically teaching them how to set themselves up to be more successful as an adult and to, hopefully, maintain a healthy weight,” said Healthy & Safe Children Director Nicole Ketterman.

During the hour-long visit, Pressley and Bell discussed the importance of an active lifestyle and emphasized a healthy and balanced diet with the group of 6 to 11-year-olds. Pressley emphasized fighting for goals, staying focused and having fun during this health journey while Bell discussed a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.

“It just struck home to me. I said, ‘This is something I definitely need to be involved with. Let’s talk to the kids about fitness.’ The earlier they get started on their journey to health and fitness, the better off they are,” said Pressley, who was a member at the YMCA and the Big Brothers Big Sisters program growing up.

The Fit and Fun program is a part of the YMCA’s after-school program. The grant from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County has allowed them to give all their students Fitbits so they can track their steps, participate in challenges and become more conscious of their healthy habits.

“This session is part of Fit and Fun at the Y, a curriculum-based program that focuses on fitness and nutrition education, increasing physical activity levels and preventing childhood obesity for children enrolled in the YMCA after-school programs,” said Senior Communications Director Cathy Mayo. “Through grants and a partnership with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, this program is provided free to kids and their families.”

For more information on the YMCA’s youth development programs, visit

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Lily Belcher is a writer for The Osprey Observer and Christian Voice Monthly. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey since completing her internship. Lily plans to attend the University of South Florida and major in Communications while writing for The Oracle.