On August 27th The Northern California Chapter of the NFL Alumni partnered with Angel Tree Football Clinic and with the help of Redwood City hosted over 200 boys and girls at our Youth of America Week Football Clinic. The kids learned football basics at a free day-long clinic in Redwood City that was held on the former practice fields of the San Francisco 49ers. The Football Clinic reached at-risk youth aged 7 to 13 who were bused in from as far away as Sacramento, Fresno, and Salinas.
Their mentors which numbered over 60 were former football players and coaches that included many members of the Northern California chapter. The morning training was followed by a luncheon banquet in which words to live by were passed along by former NFL stars Eason Ramson and Billie Anderson. Anderson, a former Stanford and 49er football player, said “The boys are the single focus. At least during this 5-6 hour stretch, they’re the most important people on the planet. These kids have been told they can’t all their lives they’ve been yelled at and have never had enough positive input. So here, you don’t do anything wrong. What you do is you learn. The kids come to learn about football, but many leave with a sense of confidence and self-esteem. How much difference does a day make? One of the boys participating had a brother who was killed in a drive-by shooting. His mother says he barely spoke or smiled for months.” Anderson says she saw him talk and laugh again at the football clinic. Thirteen-year-old Elmer Ramirez of Salinas discovered anything is possible. “You have to follow your dreams and even if you’re not the best, you could follow other things,” Ramirez concluded.
We wanted to give these children an experience of a lifetime in one day and we believe we did.