Vermont kids got a chance Friday to practice football fundamentals under several former New England Patriots players.
“I’m a fan of the Patriots—that’s why I have a Gronkowski jersey,” said Evan Williams, 11, who participated in the one-day camp in Burlington’s Roosevelt Park. “It’s an honor learning, because not everybody gets to do this.”
The Patriots Alumni Club has been criss-crossing New England this summer with its “Football for You” program. The free, non-contact clinics emphasize teamwork, preparedness, leadership, and achievement.
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The offering in Burlington’s Roosevelt Park drew children from the Boys & Girls Club, from a summer program through the Burlington Department of Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront, and from other parts of the community.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Nathan Messier, 10, one of the participants.
Pete Brock, a Patriots player from 1976-1988 who is now the president of the New England Patriots Alumni Club, said for the club’s members, the road trips rekindle that old sense of team camaraderie, while the alums give back to communities across New England.
“As long as they get a little bit of fun and exposure to the game of football, then hooray,” Brock told NBC Boston, describing the kids who participate in Football for You.
Patrick Pass, a Patriots player from 2000-2006 who was part of three Super Bowl wins, said he hopes the boys and girls who take part will get excited about youth sports. He said he’d like to see more kids get off the couch and get into sports.
“I could be teaching the next Tom Brady,” Pass said, smiling. “We love doing it. We get a great response wherever we go.”
“If a kid can find something that they’re interested in athletically, and we can help support that and find that spark in them, that’s really what we’re aiming to do,” added Sarah Fisher, the program director for the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington, who invited the program to the city.
Football for You certainly scored in Burlington when it came to promoting a more active summer for the kids.
For more on the New England Patriots Alumni Club, visit this website: http://www.patriotsalumni.com/