Legendary track coach joins Happy Meal Chefs panel

March 21, 2012

McDonald's USA has announced that University of Texas Coach Beverly "Bev" Kearney will join the judging panel for the company's first Happy Meal Chefs, a contest seeking top inspiring stories from parent-and-child teams who enjoy cooking with wholesome ingredients.

The contest will award 10 kids a trip to the London 2012 Olympic Games as part of the company's Global Champions of Play program, where they will join kids from around the world to celebrate balanced eating and fun play.

Two grand prize winners will become honorary "Happy Meal Chefs" and experience a one-of-a-kind apprenticeship with McDonald's executive chef Dan Coudreaut.

Through April 18, McDonald's Happy Meal Chefs is looking to reward top kids' stories of nutritious fun at family mealtime. Kearney, head coach for the UT women's track and field and cross country teams and 2012 recipient of the BET Honors education award, will join five-time U.S. Olympic Swimmer and McDonald's Global Champions of Play Ambassador Dara Torres, and nutrition experts Dr. Keith Ayoob and Sylvia Klinger, on the contest's judging panel.

Kearney, who is one of the most decorated coaches across all collegiate athletics, will help the panel review the contest's video submissions and select the 10 finalists. Now in her 18th season at UT, she was the first African-American head coach for the university and has led the team to six national titles. Kearney is a member of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's Hall of Fame.

"The importance of nutrition should be emphasized at an early age," Kearney said. "I am honored to work with McDonald's as a judge for Happy Meal Chefs because as an African-American athlete and coach, I know many of these issues are more prevalent in my community, and I believe strongly that by placing a positive emphasis on children's wellbeing, the contest will help promote healthier communities."

Parents or legal guardians with kids ages 8 to 11 are eligible to enter online at the Happy Meal Chefs contest page.

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Topics: Health & Nutrition , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Online / Mobile / Social

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