Former Raiders LB Sam Williams offers some encouragement during a Gatorade Junior Training Camp. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Former Raiders LB Sam Williams, nine Raiderettes, teachers and volunteers conducted a Gatorade Junior Training Camp for the students of Stoneman Elementary School in Pittsburg, Calif., Thursday morning. Last year's Raiderette of the Year, Kelly, is a teacher at the school.
The students took to the field and lined up at each football-related obstacle course. After a brief warm-up, the children ran through the drills with high energy and smiles on their faces.
Williams grew up in Pittsburg and was born a stone's throw from Stoneman. He had the opportunity to speak to the students and field questions. He spoke of dreams coming true and the importance of exercise.
"It's important for these kids to stay active and to get off the couch and off the Internet," Williams said. "That's how I grew up, playing outside, building relationships with your friends in person, staying in school, doing your best, respecting you teachers. The whole message is included today."
Williams is thankful for the opportunity to give back to his local community. He made it a point to incorporate this philosophy into his lifestyle during his playing days.
"It's a great experience, the kids were really receptive, they were active, they were listening and it was awesome to encourage them," Williams said. "The influence I have on these kids is amazing. I have an opportunity to give them something that will help them become successful in life. Sharing the wisdom that I've learned to help me get to where I am in life with these kids that are on their way trying to find out where they're heading in life, there's no better feeling."
A group of Raiderettes dance for the students of Stoneman Elementary School. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
After Kelly thanked Williams, the Raiderettes, Raiders staff and the volunteers for participating in the camp, she joined her teammates for a dance performance.
Kelly was grateful and thankful for the Raiders efforts with the camp and the time spent with the students.
"This is an awesome experience for our school. This is a Title I elementary school which means it's in a lower-income area," Kelly said. "Anything we can provide for these kids, any special experiences, they really will cherish forever. Sam Williams is from Pittsburg, for them to see that you can be successful and reach your dreams is something I can't give them. It's just special."
Williams and the Raiderettes then signed autographs and posed for pictures until the kids had to go back to class.