INDIANAPOLIS - He's been compared to Peyton Manning every step of the way. Now Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is doing something else Manning did shortly after arriving in Indiana -- teaming up with a children's hospital.
Andrew Luck is working with Riley Hospital for Children in an effort to promote healthy lifestyles for Indiana's children.
Together, they plan to design a new program that will encourage children to make better choices when it comes to physical fitness, nutrition and education.
The program, called "Change the Play," will provide children with more information and tools to make healthier decisions will be unveiled later Tuesday.
"This is an ambitious goal, but if anyone can make a difference, I believe it will be Riley and Andrew working together," said Dr. Jeff Sperring, president and CEO of Riley at IU Health, in a statement provided by the hospital. "We want to see all Hoosier kids grow healthier, stronger, happier."
Luck understands the importance of good role models and points to his parents as his inspiration for becoming physically fit and mentally active.
He hopes this program helps Indiana's children make the same choices.
"Some of my favorite memories are hiking with my family or riding bikes with my sisters growing up," Luck said. "If I can encourage kids to do that, I think that would be a great deal, because I think that had a very strong impact on me getting where I am today."
Indianapolis selected Luck with the No. 1 overall draft choice and is 4-3 behind their new franchise quarterback.
The arrangement with Riley is a four-year partnership that could be extended beyond that. The partnership includes sports performance camps, education tools for children online and speaking engagements.
Luck said he doesn't mind the comparison to Manning's work with children.
"He's a great role model for me, for a lot of young quarterbacks, young athletes in general," Luck said. "I think I'll try to have my own path, maybe, and do my own thing."