ULL Asst. Coach Hurlie Brown looks on as he leads drills for New Orleans Youth during the 2009 NCAA Football Youth Day Clinic on July 22 at Pontchartrain Park
On July 22, Pontchartrain Park swarmed with approximately 250 youth football players from New Orleans and other surrounding areas to attend a free, half-day clinic. This clinic was part of the NCAA Football's national youth initiative, in partnership with the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
The clinic is one of nine free clinics that NCAA Football is hosting across the nation, led by coaches and student athletes. Schools participating include Alcorn State University, Millsaps College, Nicholls State University, Tulane University and University of Louisiana Lafayette. The youth in attendence were able to take part in on-field drills, offensive and defensive training, as well as character development off of the field.
The NCAA Football's Youth Initiative is a $1.5 million dollar, three year investment that began in New Orleans in 2007. "This is such as special chance for youth in our area to take part in something unique, learning from top student-athletes and collegiate coaches. NCAA Football puts on a first class event and we're thrilled to have partnered with them over the past three years," said Paul Hoolahan, CEO of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
The goal of the NCAA Football's Youth Initiative is to not only attract more youth to participate, but to also provide them with motivation to pursue higher education opportunities, help them develop valuable life skills, both on and off the field, and to establish a new base of NCAA Football fans. "The clinic is a great opportunity for youth athletes throughout Louisiana to study not only about football, but also about the moral character that will help these kids grow and mature into responsible adults," said Bob Vecchione, chair of the NCAA Football Youth Initiative Committee. "We are honored to be involved in this event with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and hope the participants enjoy exclusive access to the talent of Alcorn State University, Milsaps College, Nicholls State University, Tulane University and University of Louisiana Lafayette."