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Athletics News

July 7, 2006

Members of the Pitt football team paired with 45 children from two local YMCAs to participate in the First Annual YMCA Football Clinic on Friday, July 7. In addition to teaching fundamental football skills, the clinic focused on teaching good decision-making with an emphasis on the importance of staying in school and developing teamwork skills.

"It is always a great feeling to come out and support younger kids," said Derron Thomas. "The YMCA Football Clinic allowed us to show children the right way in life rather than finding trouble on the streets."

In addition to Thomas, other participating Pitt football players included Joe DelSardo, Corey Davis, Doug Fulmer, Adam Gunn, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Cedric McGee. Each took time to talk with the children about the importance of teamwork not only on the playing field but also in everyday life. The participants also received instruction on football fundamentals, including blocking, tackling and route running. The clinic ended with a fun obstacle course that integrated all of these skills into one.

"Interacting with the kids is fun because we know they look up to us as role models which puts a smile on our faces," said Fulmer. "The obstacle course at the end was a blast. It was nice to see that the kids were having a good time and enjoying themselves."

The event was organized by Career and Life Skills Coordinator Penny Semaia and Charles Small, Student Life and Compliance Assistant. This is the latest community outreach initiative by the Pitt Athletic Department. Such activities are mutually beneficial for both Pitt's student-athletes and the Western Pennsylvania region as a whole.

"It is expected that we provide the student-athletes with opportunities that are purposeful and meaningful," said Charles Small. "We are very fortunate to receive such tremendous support from Athletic Director Jeff Long and Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Sanft. They are very supportive of our community outreach initiatives and encourage community involvement by all of our teams."

Pitt Football Clinic with YMCA Teaches More than Football

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