Imagine running through drills with a 6-5, 323 pound NFL player. For 100 kids from the Phoenix Boys and Girls Club, that dream became a reality on Thursday as tackle Levi Brown, the Arizona Cardinals first-round selection in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Penn State, and team mascot Big Red hosted at a Gatorade Jr. Training Camp at the Cardinals Training Facility.
Throughout the hour camp the kids ran drills at five separate stations as Brown and Big Red assisted.
"This gives the kids a chance to come out and hang at the Cardinals Facility, see some big Cardinals names and even the mascot," commented Jonathan Norman, the Health and Physical Ed. Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club. "It gives them a chance to burn off energy and have some fun running through football drills."
The Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix inspires and enables youth in the community, especially those faced with difficult and challenging circumstances, to realize their individual potential while learning responsible citizenship.
For Brown, who is obviously new to the community, it was a chance for him to meet some of his newest fans and provide some positive encouragement to the children.
"The kids are our future and they are the up and coming stars of the NFL," offered Brown. "Anytime you get a chance to come out here and work with them and show them that even though we're in the NFL, we are just like them. We're not scary guys, and it is a great chance for me to come out and play with them. I have a lot of fun with kids, so this was a great time."
"Having Levi here just makes it that much better," added Norman. "He is the biggest guy out here so everyone has no choice but to look up to him. At the same time it gives the kids a chance to meet a real super star in their town. All the kids really had a great time."
The Gatorade sponsored camps are designed to provide children grade two-five with educational and recreational activities and to help students learn non-contact skills such as passing and catching at a five-station interactive play area.