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Rookies Spend Off Day Giving Back to Community
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Tuesday is the players’ day off, but a bevy of rookies spent it hosting the first official Play 60 Junior Chargers Training Camp at Highland Elementary in Inglewood.
Along with volunteers from Inglewood Police Department, the dozen players ran various positional drills and encouraged over 100 kids to get active as part of NFL Play60, the NFL Movement for an Active Generation.
“It was actually a blast,” said Austin Ekeler. “I didn’t know what to expect as this was my first Play 60, but the kids are so energetic and have a bunch of questions for you. They’re just so excited to see us out here and it was a good time.”
“(Giving back) feels great, honestly,” added Nigel Harris. “A lot of kids come from communities like (this one) and when I was a kid, I loved to see encouragement and older guys who have already made it come back to the community.”
Holding the event in Inglewood carried special meaning for the community as it will be the home for the Bolts come 2020. Inglewood Chief of Police Mark Fronterotta mentioned the partnership between the Chargers and the city is something special.
“They’re good stewards as well in terms of their responsibilities in the community,” Fronterotta said. “This isn’t the first time they’ve been to Inglewood. They’ve been here before, they’ll be here again…. It’s a continuing effort in their outreach to the community. I was talking to one young child out there and he was so excited just to see who his favorite team is, the Chargers. That was really nice to see. It was a touching moment.”
“It’s a piece of hope for our city (with) bringing everyone together (and) letting our kids know they can dream big, do big and achieve big things,” added Annette Beasley, Principal, Highland Elementary.
For kids at Highland, Tuesday was a special day, but for the rookies, it was even more memorable. They know their jobs as professional football players extend beyond the gridiron, and they were happy to take the time to impact kids’ lives for the better.
“It’s a huge platform that you have, being an NFL player,” Sean Culkin said. “So any time you can use that and help others in the community, its a great opportunity.”
“This is definitely one of my focuses, encouraging the youth and trying to get them the best help they can for the best life they can (lead),” added Dan Feeney. “I want to be a part of that and help them in any way I can. If doing something like this, a Play60 event is what I can do, then I’m glad to help them out.”Read