On Tuesday, rookie linebackers Slade Norris and David Nixon visited students from Burckhalter Elementary School and helped conduct a Gatorade Junior Training Camp.
The free camp is designed to show kids the educational and recreational benefits of football presented in a safe and fun environment. The roughly 115 students, comprised of second, third, fourth, and fifth graders, participated in various drills from catching a football thrown by Nixon to doing high knees while being coached by Norris.
Nixon, a rookie from BYU, wanted to teach the kids the importance of living an active lifestyle.
"It is obviously something I feel strongly in, growing up and being active in my life. Nowadays kids having video games and things like that, it is easy to kind of neglect this side of life, so I think Gatorade and the Raiders are doing it right by showing kids how to be more active and teaching them the importance of it," Nixon said.
Norris, a fourth round pick in this past year's draft, said he has lived an active lifestyle all his life and wanted to show kids the benefit of being fit.
"This is what being a professional athlete is all about; giving back to the kids. I was at this point at one time. Programs like this teach them how to be active and keep them out of trouble. I am just trying to have fun with them," Norris said.
Carmen Hernandez, an afterschool program assistant, was there for the event and appreciates members of the Raiders coming out to spend some time with the kids.
"It is great. It is a great experience for them. Since kids here in Oakland don't normally get to experience this, it is a great that the Raiders are able to be here. They were really happy and excited about it," Hernandez stated.
Amisha Houston, a parent of three students at Burckhalter Elementary School, sees the potential the players' presence can have on the kids.
"I think it is real good. The kids all need that. This shows them that there is something better in life for them," Houston said.
The Oakland Raiders continue their Commitment to Community by setting the standard for youth and school programs. Throughout the football season, Raiders players visit schools in and around the Bay Area to participate in youth camps, school assemblies, and fundraisers.