]()On Saturday June 24th the New England Patriots Alumni Club and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation teamed with the City of Boston's Center for Youth and Family Dept. to host "Football For You" a free clinic for boys and girls ages 12-14.
As the participants arrived at Boston English High School on Saturday afternoon the weather was gloomy however this in no way dampened the spirits of the 60 boys and girls and their families that attended the clinic.
This enthusiastic group was eager to learn new techniques and enhance their football skills. David Burnes director of recreation for the City of Boston welcomed the youth and their families to the event.
Garin Veris former director of recreation for the city and former New England Patriot introduced his teammates that would serve as coaches for the day. Under the proficient coordination and direction of Troy Barnett (#98 Defensive End, 1994-96) five skills sessions including agility, fundamentals of tackling, fumble drills, pass rushing and blocking were taught by Peter Brock, Steve Grogan, Andre Tippett, Paul Francisco, Butch Mahoney, Jim Murphy, Bobby Leo, Jon Williams, Daryl Johnson, Tom Hennessey, Len St. Jean and Garin Veris.
The excitement was contagious as each child stepped up to take his/or/her turn at a drill. The sideline of parents and friends could see the intensity on the faces of the participants as they listened to each piece of instruction provided. Some of the children arrived at the field with as many as 5 years of football experience while others came to the afternoon to try the sport for the very first time. Eyes wide they were all anxious to listen and learn to what these professional athletes had to share.
Each skill sessions lasted approximately 15minutes before a whistle sounded directing them to move onto the next drill. This allowed everyone in attendance an opportunity to meet each of the 11 alumni coaches and participate in each of the five skill sessions. As the skill sessions came to a close the boys and girls lined up to take part in a pass and kick competition. The top five winners in each age, the boys or girls with the longest total distance kicking and passing the ball, were awarded prizes donated by Reebok. Gathered and seated on the 50-yard line the children waited for their special guest speaker.
]()Five year Defensive Lineman Jarvis Green of the New England Patriots delivered an outstanding message to the clinic participants. He encouraged the boys and girls to work hard in school and on the field. He told them to set goals and work towards their dreams. Jarvis answered questions and presented the prizes to the winners of the pass and kick competition. He was happy to have his picture taken with the children and sign autographs.
At the conclusion of the afternoon each attendee was given a bag of gifts from the Patriots organization including a hat, a pennant, 3 Games to Glory DVD and much, much more. Smiles filled their faces as they enjoyed a delicious treat of ice cream and relished the memories of their fun filled afternoon.
A very special thanks to Fed Ex Kinkos for printing and donating the display banners for the event. The New England Patriots Alumni Club is thrilled with the success of this event and looks forward to bringing a multi day event to the city next year. It is the mission and charter of the New England Patriots Alumni Club to provide for and support youth football throughout New England. It is our hopes that this is the first of many opportunities to fulfill this mission.