nj.com: Mariano Rivera, Herschel Walker, Donald Trump and some Jersey kids have this in common


WASHINGTON -- A group of New Jersey students will join President Donald Trump, former New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Riveraand former football star Herschel Walker at the White House Wednesday to utter a well-known two-word phrase: Play ball.

The students from St. Francis Academy in Union City will be part of White House Sports and Fitness Day, which is designed to highlight the benefits of youth sports and encourage more youngsters to play at a time when participation is down.

"Youth sports give children and young adults a unique opportunity," Ivanka Trump, daughter and assistant to the president, said on a conference call with reporters in advance of the event. "Every child in America deserves equal access to play."

The New Jersey students are being brought to the White House by Angelo Valente, executive director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, which has worked with the school.

The partnership is one of 13 outside groups participating along with President Trump and Ivanka Trump, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and Rivera, Walker and other athletes who are to be named to the president's council.

"Encouraging young people to be involved in sports and fitness programs is certainly a very positive step," Valente said. "That's a very important aspect of encouraging young people to not experiment with illicit drugs."

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