By Godfrey Lee
The 49er Gatorade Junior Training Camp-Youth Football was held last Thursday, June 20, at the baseball field in Marin City.The 70 participants were divided into three groups where they learned how to pass, catch and run with the ball. Adult coaches from Youth Football helped the young people improve their skills.“It is not our hope here to turn them into professional football players” says Tucker Baksa from the football training camp. “We are just trying to instill the basics in them, running back, quarterback, wide receiver, tackling.
“Thatis the hope, but you never know. Maybe there is a chance that something new will spark in these kids, and they play for the 49ers one day.”
Baksa said the coaches preach hard work, responsibility and respect. “I think that covers all aspects of life whether it deals with family and friends and whatever your specific sport is,” he said.
Youth football is a part of the 49er organization, which holds about 75 of these camps throughout the Bay Area. The camps are free of charge for any non-profit organization or elementary school program that works with youth from ages 7-14.
Youth Football also advocates “Play 60,”where children play for 60 minutes a day. The 49er program views this as a one way to tackle childhood obesity.
The Football Camp was also a kickoff event for the Marin Summer Scholarships Enrichment Program, organized by Felecia Gaston of Performing Stars of Marin and the Phoenix Project of Marin.
The enrichment program will provide camp activities for 100 children, ages 5 to 18, from low-income families in Marin. About $50,000 was raised from local donor organizations to support these camps, designed to help the youth explore life and learn about themselves.
“This is the program that gets them out and exposes them to different experiences,” Gaston said.