Football program helps kids learn game skills, get summer workout

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

Northwest Wisconsin Champions is helping kids learn the basics of football while helping them stay physically active through the summer.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It is a struggle for parents every summer, how to keep kids active when school is not in session.

One organization is teaching kids about the game of football and giving them at least four hours of additional exercise each week.

That extra movement is critical. The Eau Claire County Health Department told us at least 26% of Eau Claire County adults are obese. 20% admit they do not exercise.

But a new program called NFL Play 60 is helping kids build a foundation for an active lifestyle at a young age.

This is some of the best hands-on training you can get if you are young and want to learn the game of football.

It is something that will keep you on your feet.

It is a summer flag football program happening at Carson Park. Locally, it is known as Northwest Wisconsin Champions, built on the NFL's Play 60 Program.

"Its play 60, they get to play for over 60 minutes," said Bobby Diaz, the coordinator of the program.

He says kids learn the basics of the game. They warm up and then play several rounds of football in small groups.

"We teach the kids some fundamentals, heads up football and the parents get to watch," he said.

Meanwhile all that movement does the body plenty of good.

"Especially the games get you exhausted," said Reley Bauer.

"After the game when it's been a good game I get sore," said Issac Lashley.

The kids practice alongside the Chippewa Valley Predators, a semi-pro football team in the area. They learn valuable lessons from those who have been there, done that, when it comes to football.

"You have to go through your brain, body all the way down to your toes, everything has gotta be working as one," said Ryan Alden who plays for the Predators.

Parents we talked with say they are all for activities that keep kids moving through the summer, letting them also do something they enjoy.

"He's been practicing his passing and catching, mostly wants to be a wide receiver," said Jeanine Weiss about her son.

Summed up, Reley Bauer puts it this way.

"It's just a good program overall, its fun you should try it," he said.


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