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Raiders Take Play 60 International

The Oakland Raiders arrived in the United Kingdom Monday and settled into their temporary home about an hour outside of London.

Tuesday, 11 players and 10 Raiderettes participated in a Play 60 event at the Surrey Sports Park with about 150 local students. "It's a great Play 60 NFL event here with the kids out here in the London area," said OL Kevin Boothe. "I've been impressed by their knowledge of the game. We've gone over a little of the fundamentals and throwing and catching and also some agility drills, so it's been a great time, great energy, and it's been a lot of fun."

"I am really happy that the Raiders brought this to the UK. The kids are having a great time and getting a good workout," said Raiderette Kelly. "The players here are setting a great example for the kids. It's awesome to see and be a part of." 

The Raiders taught the kids the fundamentals of American football. Many of the young athletes are more familiar with football (soccer) and rugby. "We had to teach them the rules, but it was fun because they were excited about it and learning this game," said DE Justin Tuck. "I heard a lot of rugby terms and their football, soccer, terms. It took us a few minutes to get them out of that mode, but once we did, they picked the game up pretty quickly."

The Raiderettes also helped to lead the drills and demonstrate some of the football skills. "A lot of these kids we're seeing have never played football before, so they're excited to come out," said Raiderette Brandi. "They've done agility training, they got to play flag football, it was so much fun. The kids here were so enthusiastic to learn, participate and cheer each other on. It's a great time."

Several Raiders and Raiderettes participated in a Play 60 event in England.

FB Marcel Reece was excited to bring American football and the Play 60 message to the kids of the UK. "Today's event is an NFL Play 60 event, but it's special because it's international this week for us," said FB Marcel Reece. "This is the first time for us as a Raiders player since I've been here that we've brought a Play 60 event international so it's a fun deal for us to be out here and be able to reach out and try to teach these kids about our football. Not only that, but just interact with them and have some fun and enjoy the fans." 

Veteran OL Austin Howard enjoyed bringing Play 60 international. "I'm very surprised about how many kids actually love the game of football," said Howard. "I know it's not as popular here in England, so it's cool to see all the kids out here. Play 60 has been a blast out here with my teammates and seeing all the kids having a good fun. It's a really fun opportunity."

The players obviously care about giving back with 11 of them taking time out of their off day to spend with the kids. "It just lets you know that it's important to them to get out in the communities that we play in and have an impact and get an opportunity especially to come out, play with kids, get them active," said Tuck. "It's something that it's important to us. It's our day off and we're taking time out of it to come out and be a part of Play 60 and try to make a positive effect on these kids' lives."

The event is an added opportunity to bond with teammates. "It was fun especially when you have guys like Tuck and McFadden and Marcel out there playing around," said rookie LB Khalil Mack. "It's different when you get to see how they interact and get to learn a lot of things from them."

Boothe was not surprised so many of his teammates wanted to participate. "Tuesdays are off days and typically our community service day. It doesn't surprise me at all to see all of our guys out here contributing to this Play 60 event because it's what we normally do anyway," said Boothe. "I think the fact that it's international adds a little bit more to it. It's what we expect out here."

After a fun time with the kids, the team returned to their home for the week to get ready for practice tomorrow. "Its fun right now, but come tomorrow, we get back on our regular duties and that's to try to win a football game," said Tuck. "So we'll enjoy this today, but tomorrow we'll be back on the practice field to get ready for the Miami Dolphins. The London experience is awesome because it's something new. We get an opportunity to broaden the NFL brand here in the UK, but again, things go back to normal for us tomorrow."

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