The Oakland Raiders held a Gatorade Junior Training Camp at New Highland Academy/Rise Academy in Oakland Tuesday afternoon. P Marquette King, WR Rod Streater and FS Usama Young led football drills, spoke to the students about staying in school and pursuing their goals, and posed for pictures with the kids.
The goals of the Junior Training Camp are to promote being active for 60 minutes every day and having fun doing it. "Obesity is growing, health concerns are running rampant and it's just one of those things that's good for us to get out there and show them, hey, activity is good," said Young. "Getting out of your seat, running around, breaking a sweat is good. A lot of people don't want to do it, but it's the truth of the matter."
Streater showed the students that exercise can be fun. "It's very important. They have to get out of the house, exercise every day," Streater explained. "It's very important for them to get out and just play. And also just to come out here and have fun, that's what it's all about."
The students were excited and full of energy during the Raiders participation in the camp. "The energy was great. The kids came out; they had a good time," said Young. "I'm sure they had been in their chairs the whole day and just to get out and run around, see some NFL players, and hopefully we're their favorite team, just come out and run around with us, it was a good time."
All three players had a great time running drills at the local elementary school. "It was amazing. The kids were real excited to see us and I'm pretty sure they were excited to get out of the classroom for awhile and just have fun," said King.
The players understand how important it is as NFL players, and as Oakland Raiders, to give back to the local community. "It's very important because the fans come out and support," said Young. "The community always comes out and supports and just to be able to get out here, run around with the kids, sign autographs, take pictures, it shows that you care and you appreciate it."
As a professional football player, it isn't just about what happens on the field; it's also about what happens off of it. "Just to show the kids and everybody that there's more to football," said Streater. "We want to get out here, put a face to a number. A lot of kids look up to us and we just want to come out here and show them that we're normal people and we're all about just having fun."
"As a kid, I would have loved this," added Streater. "I never had this opportunity to meet and greet with NFL players. Just to be able to go out here and give back to the community is an amazing thing, an amazing feeling."
King wanted to make sure he provided a positive message for the kids. "It's important because you have to try to [impact] kids before they get older and especially around when they're getting to sixth grade and middle school when they're starting to find who they are," said King. "Try to catch them before they get around bad influences and try to keep them around positive people."
Associate principal Lorena Reyes and her staff were happy to have the Raiders support their Oakland school. "It's very important for the Raiders to come out because they're supporting the school, they're really motivating students with what they were saying," said Reyes. "Just really promoting exercise and just getting students to be more active and [explaining] they can do whatever they wish they can."
The students appreciated having the Raiders join them at school. "The students love the Raiders and they were very excited from the beginning," said Reyes. "It was very helpful to have them come and just really have incentives for students to do well in school."
For more information on Gatorade Junior Training Camps, click here.