Approximately 200 athletes with developmental disabilities took to the turf along with players from The Ohio State University football team and former NFL players for a scarlet-and-gray-style football clinic hosted by Goodwill Columbus (OH).
The athletes met on the football field at Hilliard Bradley High School sports complex for the invitation-only event on July 10. The Special Skills Football Invitational is designed to provide athletes who have developmental disabilities the opportunity to learn basic football skills from some of the best athletes in Ohio. Former NFL players James Cotton, Jim Karsatos and Courtland Bullard attended the clinic.
“This is an athletic group of participants. Many have recently returned from the 2014 USA National Special Olympics Games with medals,” said Steve Weaver, event coordinator. “It’s an incredible opportunity for them to interact with passionate athletes from the professional and collegiate level.”
Event participants received seven 15-minute sessions on the essential skills needed to play the game like true Buckeyes. Athletes trained on speed, agility, quarterback and running back skills, wide receiver and defense back skills, blocking, and tackling in a safe, fun environment.
“Last year was a great success. Our participants really valued the chance to learn from masters of the game,” Weaver said. “We’re extremely grateful to The Ohio State University football program and to the Central Ohio NFL alumni association for supporting our athletes.”
Almost 100 volunteers helped to make the event a success. Ohio State’s mascot Brutus the Buckeye and members of The Ohio State Cheerleading squad were also present.