More than 80 students from Coronado Elementary School in Richmond lined up on the John F. Kennedy High School football field to participate in the Gatorade Junior Training Camp.
The training camp is a league-wide initiative that provides free youth football clinics with local pro teams for boys and girls ages 7-12. The camp features recreational and football drill activities for 60 minutes, part of an initiative of the NFL to encourage youth to live healthy and be active for at least 60 minutes a day.
Oakland Raiders Brice Butler, Latavius Murray, and Matt McCants worked with the children, helping to lead them through workouts.
“It’s kids who watch you play on Sundays, who look up to you. For them to come out and see you, you know, running those few drills and stuff like that – without saying anything, it’s encouragement,” said Butler.
Coronado Elementary School is located at John F. Kennedy High while its campus is being rebuilt, which is expected to be completed next year.
“I was a kid once, and…if I could see a NFL player come back and run some drills and get out and run around and have fun, it would mean the world to me, too,” Murray said.
Reginald Figgs, who works for the YMCA of the East Bay and serves as the Student Engagement Coordinator for the Y’s program at JFK, says events such as the training camp provides support for school programs while bringing energy and excitement to the campus.
“This is definitely uplifting to the community and for the elementary school. This builds up our area and brings a light onto Kennedy,” said Figgs. “There’s been a lot of negative things said that are untrue. So we wanted to bring another positive activity into our neighborhood.“
A native of Atlanta, Butler said he understands the importance of not only playing for the team but also giving back to the younger generation.
“We all came from similar types of backgrounds and struggles…. [but] regardless of where you at, you can accomplish the things you want to get accomplished,” he said.