Northwestern Mutual, the new presenting sponsor for the Rose Bowl Game, hosted the fifth annual Youth Football Clinic on Saturday at Robinson Park, Pasadena. Girls and boys ages 5 to 14 participated in offensive, defensive and agility drills and learned proper safety techniques, character development and good sportsmanship.
Approximately 175 to 200 children attended in the cool June gloom, with the temperature hovering around 70 degrees, more hospitable than last year’s 100-degree-plus. The synthetic turf field in Robinson Park, which is named after brothers Mack and Jackie, was installed with the assistance of a grant from the Tournament of Roses Foundation.
Miraj Parikh, Director of Partnership and Activation Marketing for Northwestern Mutual, noted that the Youth Football Clinic is the first official event of the new partnership with the Tournament of Roses. “This has been great, getting 150 kids out here, seeing them run around,” he said. Tournament of Roses President Rich Chinen was also present, and expressed his pleasure with the partnership and the event.
Dad Augie Flores, who brought two of his four children to the clinic, said that his sons were enjoying it, “especially my son who is four. He has so much energy.” His boys play soccer, basketball and T-ball, and his wife is “a sports nut,” he said.
As a flock of about 50 loudly-squawking parrots flew over, the clinicians shouted instructions to the youth. “Get down like a frog! Like a frog,” one encouraged the youngest participants in a blocking drill. Clinicians, who came from Pasadena City College, Occidental College, UCLA, USC and local high schools, accommodated their style and the drills for each age group and comforted the kids who were a little unnerved.
The clinic was free, and the children were given T-shirts and provided with lunch. There were several water stations surrounding the field and clinicians encouraged the girls and boys to stay hydrated.
Troy Hill, who came to watch five of his young cousins go through the paces, played for Duarte High School in his youth. Running his eyes over the field for his brood, he observed, “I like this type of stuff.”