Reported by Elizabeth Hur

WASHINGTON (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama hosted the U.S. women’s national soccer team at the White House on Thursday to promote physical activity and healthier eating for children.

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Nearly 50 kids poured onto the South Lawn for some running, kicking and other drills.

Mrs. Obama called the women’s team, which lost to Japan in the World Cup final in July, “some of the best soccer players in the entire world.”

She said she and her husband, President Barack Obama, and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, were glued to the TV during the championship.

“We are proud of their accomplishment this summer,” she told the athletes and the children from Prince William Courage Soccer Club in Woodbridge, Va., and Soccer Sisters United in Philadelphia. “They’ve made us so incredibly proud.”

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She reminded the children, ages eight to 14, that being fit helps with their overall well-being and being able to focus in school.

In her words, “You don’t have to become a superstar athlete to enjoy sports and to move.”

The family dog, Bo, was greeted with pats and hugs from the children and athletes as he made a brief appearance at the end of the clinic.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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