The Philadelphia Eagles are starting their youth football clinics again, this year returning to Newton Friends School from July 20 to July 24. Eagles alumni like Bill Bergey, Ben Hawkins, Vince Papale, Gary Cobb, and Fred Barnett will coach 14 different Philadelphia-area locations this summer. In fact, one lucky kid, Holden Daggett won a football signed by former Eagles head coach, Dick Vermeil.
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These youth summer clinics encourage the local youth to know more about football and ignite their passions for the sport. Coaches are both former and current players on the Lower Merion High School football team. Boys from elementary to middle school can participate and are subjected to two hours of drilling and scrimmaging. After the camp, the boys gather for a picture and join a raffle (all the players went home with a prize).
The football – or ‘footeball’ (named to honor the late Dr. Joseph Foote, an avid football fan) – clinic is a fantastic way to engage young boys in sport. From experience, I found that even if these boys do not pursue a professional sports career in the future, it is enough that they participated. Summer clinics are a way to learn life skills such as teamwork and goal-setting as well. Plus, learning from the greats fosters better participation and a sense of belonging. These experiences are one in a lifetime, and I am proud to be Eagles fan.
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