On Wednesday, July 28, Florida Citrus Sports hosted a free youth football clinic in partnership with NCAA Footballï¿½s Youth Initiative. Held in the shadow of the Citrus Bowl as installation of the new AstroTurf field continued, the clinic featured coaches and players from UCF, the University of West Georgia and Jacksonville University, as well as local professional players from the Arena Football League’s Orlando Predators and the United Football Leagueï¿½s Florida Tuskers.
Over 220 children, including attendees of the free Florida Citrus Sports Summer Camp, took part in the clinic. They participated in on-field agility drills, offensive and defensive training and skills challenges as they rotated through various stations showcasing the different positions on the field. Featured instructors included Florida Tuskers players Eric Powell, Matt Grothe, Rocky Ross and Kevin Harris and Orlando Predators stars Bobby Sippio, James Lynch and Derrick Lewis.
Following the morning portion of the clinic, the kids were treated to a Chick-fil-A lunch and an address from Florida Tuskers head coach Jay Gruden, who stressed the good sportsmanship, respect for authority and the importance of living a drug-free life, and how these skills can be used to succeed off the field and in the classroom.
The clinic was one of 22 being held nationwide over the summer. NCAA Footballï¿½s Youth Initiative is a $1.5 million, three year investment that began in New Orleans in 2007. Through this program, NCAA Football strives to attract more youth participants to the game, provide them with additional motivation to pursue higher education opportunities, help them develop the necessary skills to be successful on and off the field, and help to establish a new base of life-long NCAA Football fans.