They might not be ready for the NFL, but they certainly are on their way.
Around 260 Pasadena young people braved the heat on Saturday and came out to Jackie Robinson Park for an NCAA-sponsored youth football clinic, in conjunction with the Tournament of Roses and the Pasadena Parks Department.
The kids learned the basics of the sport, such as passing and running, in addition to getting a lesson on how to stay physically fit.
Bill Flinn, executive director for the Tournament of Roses, said it was a great event of which to be a part.
“We are bringing kids out not only to do football with them but to do a lot of basics about athletic training,” Flinn said. “It’s also an opportunity for the Tournament of Roses to reach out to the community and be part of it.”
Flinn added the young people ranged in age from 5 years old to teenagers.
Fred Fimbres, head football coach at Pasadena City College, said there were some important objectives he wanted the children to learn.
“We’re out here hopefully to turn some kids on to football and the joys of getting a good workout in, keeping them active,” Fimbres said. “We’re also talking to them about discipline and teamwork and dedication for a larger group. Hopefully, this impacts their lives in a positive way.”
Fimbres added at the clinic he is hoping the youth remember to stay fit and exercise, not matter what sport it is as youth obesity is such a problem in American society.
“Everyone can acknowledge in our country we have an epidemic today,” he said. “If we can inspire somebody to move around and get active that’s more important than what sport we’re working on today. We’re doing it through football. Hopefully, we’re teaching and helping kids grow. But it can be any activity. Staying active is an important thing we need to instill in our young people.”
But football was the game of the day and Bob Vecchione, chair of the NCAA Football Youth Initiative Committee, said he hoped the young people made the most of the opportunity.
“Learning football fundamentals, proper technique and safety is essential to youth football
players’ success on the field,” Vecchione said. “NCAA Football youth clinics provide an opportunity for young athletes to learn these valuable skills and more importantly, to learn the invaluable character-building and sportsmanship lessons needed to be successful off the field.”
And if you were not able to make this event, Flinn said don’t worry. Another one will be here before you know it.
“Sign up next year,” he said. “This is our fourth one and we’ll do another one next summer.”
(Shel Segal can be reached at email@example.com).