Ripping on bowl games has become cliché. Dan Wetzel even wrote a book about it. Between nearly unobtainable ticket minimums for teams, CEO salaries well over the national average for similar-sized charities and felony fraud, much of the criticism is not only deserved, but self-inflicted.
But not everything bowls do is doom-and-gloom. Sure you are well aware of the “gift suites” that each bowl rewards the players with. However, bowls are a year-round charity at heart. Yes, some do more for their communities than others, but one of my favorite things that almost every bowl does is host a youth clinic or two.
Today the Rose Bowl Game hosted their youth clinic, providing free football instruction to 175 boys and girls. Getting youth outside, exercising, enjoying football, and even meeting some stars sounds like a fun day to me. Helping provide proper instruction and building fans of the game for tomorrow is also great for the future of the game.
Makes me wish I grew up near a bowl site and had been able to participate when I was younger.
Thanks to the Rose Bowl for some photos of today’s youth clinic. If you would like some more info on the event, here is the official press release:
On Saturday, June 29, 175 boys and girls ages 5 to 14 from Pasadena attended the NCAA Football Youth Clinic hosted by the Rose Bowl Game, a free half-day clinic of football skills and drills training at Robinson Park. Participants had the opportunity to meet and work with college football coaches and student athletes; ran offensive, defensive and agility drills; learned the proper techniques to promote on-field football safety; and learned about the importance of character development and good sportsmanship.
“For the fourth year in a row, the Rose Bowl Game and the NCAA Football Youth Initiative have partnered together to host a youth clinic for our community,” said Bill Flinn, Executive Director of the Tournament of Roses. “The benefits of this clinic are not only limited to improving on-field performance for our participants, but also teach the youth life lessons from collegiate coaches from the Los Angeles area that will assist them off the field.
“Learning football fundamentals, proper technique and safety is essential to youth football players’ success on the field,” said Bob Vecchione – chair, NCAA Football Youth Initiative Committee. “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.”