OAL Elite Football Camp Unites Students On and Off the Field

Kevin Winston (middle), organizer of the OAL Elite Football Camp, speaking to students on Tuesday at Laney College in Oakland.

Kevin Winston (middle), organizer of the OAL Elite Football Camp, speaking to students on Tuesday at Laney College in Oakland.

The Inaugural OAL Elite Football Camp kicked off its 2-day event this week at Laney College where, for the first time, over 100 students from all Oakland public schools were active on the field and in life skills exercises.

Organized by Skyline High School alum Kevin Winston who now works for the Atlanta Falcons, the camp held on July 8-9 gave students the opportunity to improve their footwork and techniques on the field.

It also provided invaluable advice and information about colleges, careers and encouraged the young athletes to make their education a top priority.

Winston was motivated to start the camp after reading the article “Even Odds” by Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle that noted, “Over the past 10 years, 787 black boys and men in Oakland were victims of homicide. During that same time, just 802 graduated prepared to attend either a California State University or University of California school.”

OAL2“We’re giving life skills and skill building from an academic standpoint but also from a holistic standpoint, looking at who they are as an individual and where they want to go,” Winston said.

OAL legends and NFL players, such as Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King, attended the camp sharing advice and speaking to students about their journey to the pros.

“This is important for them because they got someone like me to come [to the camp] that actually made it,” King said. “It’ll help give them hope and help them feel like they can get close to the goal too.”

In-class sessions discussed social media, financial literacy and career development. Academic speed dating allowed students to review their transcripts with counselors from the Oakland Unified School District to make sure they are taking the necessary classes to be college ready after high school.

“The camp was very informing,” said Jasaan Andrews, a senior at Skyline High School who plans to attend a Division 1 college to play football.

“I learned a lot about football, whether I want to make a career out of it or whether I just want to use it to get to college. I actually am going to use football to get my degree in business, probably to prepare myself to be a Wall Street stock marketer, and to help people financially,” Andrews said.

For more information about the OAL Elite Football Camp, visit www.facebook.com/OALEliteFootballCamp.

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One Comment

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