By: Malaika Bobino, Photo by: Tony Gonzales/Raiders.com
Oakland, CA – It’s hard to believe a group of kids know so much about the Oakland Raiders. We can credit the parents but for the youth, it’s how they retain the information, that always surprises us.
Terrelle Pryor knows exactly what these kids need and did what he thought was best in helping them better their future. Pryor hosted the Gatorade Junior Training Camp. Giving back to the community for this quarterback holds a special place in his heart.
“I love the city of Oakland, especially the East,” said Terrelle. “It reminds me of being home where I grew up playing at Long Glass Field. Kids need more education away from sports, when they see a football player they automatically want autographs and photos. I just want to see where their minds are. I want to know what kind of education their getting and the kind of questions they’ll ask.”
The free youth football clinic facilitated by The Oakland Raiders, was geared towards boys and girls ages 7-12. Held across the street from Cox Academy on 98th Avenue in Oakland, an area know for gang related activity, accelerated drop out rate for middle and high school students.
Pryor can relate to the hardships of growing up. But thanks to football, he had a different path that lead him to the National Football League. So, giving back to the areas often forgotten by society is where Terrelle likes to spend time. The Junior Training Camp featured an educational and recreational benefit of football presented in a safe and fun environment.
“When I was back in college I used to go out every week to to the hospitals to give back, I just love doing it, I think it’s God’s blessing and work. I’m never to busy to do this. I like to get non-related football questions from the kids to let them know there’s more to learn than football.”
The camp’s curriculum was very safe and developed by Gatorade so that any student can participate regardless of age, gender, ability, or experience. The kids participated in drills, skills training and exercises similar to what NFL players do. After, they had the opportunity to ask Pryor questions from his age, favorite food and the status of the team.
“The kids were excited and had good energy,” he explained. “They also want us [Raiders] to win more so we have fulfill that request. I hope the kids paid attention and had a good time. If they take anything away from this, I hope it was enjoyment and success for their future.”