Kids learn football, life skills at Saints training camp

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Young New Orleans Saints fans got to test out their football skills while learning some life skills in Ocean Springs, Tuesday. Hancock Bank teamed up with the Saints to sponsor a Junior Training Camp for Ocean Springs Middle School.

The teens channeled their inner football all-star as they competed in physical drills to show off their athletic skills. 

"The Saints are my favorite team. I was born in New Orleans and have season tickets for them," one student said.

For those who didn't want to play football, they danced with Saintsations.

"It is great. They are wonderful dancers and cheerleaders and I appreciate them for being us today," another student said.

Saints representatives said the goal of the football experience is to pass on the benefits of health and fitness.

"This is vehicle that passes on the "Play 60" message, which encourages kids to get outside and play 60 minutes a day. Like I told the kids, it is crazy we have to remind them to go out and play, but there are a lot of distractions today," said New Orleans Saints Youth Programs Director Jason Trosclair.

Hancock Bank officials agree the kids can learn a lot about health, leadership and even teamwork from the championship team.

"When you talk about these professional athletes and what impact they have one these young men and these young ladies' lives, I think it is very important you partner with these NFL teams,"  said Hancock Bank official David Thomas said.

Another major lesson the kids learned is that it's impossible for everyone to be NFL player. But it is possible for the students to do their best in the classroom and score big, so they can be successful in their own way.

"I tell them if you want my job, or they want to become a news reporter for WLOX, the GM [General Manager] of the New Orleans Saints, they have to have education," said Trosclair.

The students also received signature Saints t-shirts for participating in the program.

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