Hoover Elementary in Oakland, Calif., was latest stop for the Gatorade Junior Training Camp and first year Raider Desmond Bryant was in attendance to speak with the kids and run drills with them.
"I just wanted to convey how important it is to get out there and exercise. When I was growing up as a kid every day I would shut off the video games and go outside. I really enjoyed it so I think it is important for kids too," Bryant said.
The roughly 160 students ranged from third to fifth graders.
Fifth-grader Jahn, who also plays for a local Pop Warner team, took in what Bryant said and plans to apply those lessons to his life. "It was fun to have him come out and play with us. He said always eat healthy and exercise so you can stay healthy and active," Jahn said.
Anthony, also a fifth grader, echoed what Jahn said and enjoyed running the drills with Bryant. "He talked to us today about being active and staying healthy. I enjoyed running the drills. It was fun. It's exciting and fun to have someone from the Raiders come out here," Anthony said.
The free camp is designed to show kids the educational and recreational benefits of football presented in a safe and fun environment.
The Principal of Hoover Elementary, Laresha Martin, wanted to team up with the Raiders and Gatorade because she felt that the program aligns with the values they try to teach at Hoover. "We try to promote health. Health, healthy eating, and being active are things we constantly try to promote here at Hoover," Martin said.
Having Bryant at the event was a complete surprise to the students. "They were extremely excited. Just having a professional football player here who is telling them this is what you need to do in order to be successful is very inspiring," Martin explained.
Mark Louie, physical education teacher at Hoover, also appreciated Bryant talking to the kids about living a healthy and active lifestyle.
"They probably listened to him more than us seeing how he is at the pinnacle of athletics. It is pretty cool. I remember growing up as a kid meeting professional athletes and it was exciting. We appreciate him coming out here and playing with the kids," Louie said.