The USA Football 2019 Protection Tour began Sunday in Philadelphia, the first of six stops this summer. The tour kicked off with nearly 200 youth players and their families out at the Philadelphia Eagles’ NovaCare Complex for a free event in which they learned the game’s fundamentals from some of the area’s top youth coaches and safety experts.
The athletes were individually fit for helmets for the upcoming season by Riddell, and parents were educated on how to ensure their child has the proper protection to enjoy the fun and fitness of football.
Justin Kenny, Riddell’s communications manager, stated how significant it was to have so many parents and youth athletes come out to learn more about the game and get hands-on experience. “For Riddell, it’s important to educate people on proper fit and protection and make sure that kids and parents at all levels of the game have a positive experience from the start and continue to think about protection and safety in the future.”
Next, kids were able to try on NFL equipment, meet the Eagles’ mascot, Swoop, and run a timed 40-yard dash, before being instructed on several components of the nationally endorsed Heads Up Football program by USA Football Master Trainer Nick Marmo. In the session, parents took part with their kids and learned about the fundamentals of tackling as well as injury prevention and recognition, something Marmo said everyone enjoyed. “Everyone was having fun. They were active and engaged the whole time and the parents were really appreciative and pleased.”
Lastly, participants were split into age-specific groups and participated in rounds of non-contact drills aligned with the Football Development Model.
Attendees’ excitement of being in a NFL facility was clearly evident, which is something the Eagles place a high priority on when hosting other youth events for the Philly community. “It was great to have USA Football and the Eagles working together to pair with safety leaders to teach the best techniques and equipment fitting,” said Dan Levy, the Philadelphia Eagles’ community relations coordinator. “We are proud to be a part of this event.”
The Protection Tour continues this Friday in Santa Clara, Calif. at Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, from 5-8 p.m. Register here. [Note: To register, participants need a USA Football account, which is created at no cost at this link.]