The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation on Tuesday hosted Kids Day for those attending training camp in Richmond, Va.
Redskins fans poured into training camp for the inaugural Kids Day at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., on Tuesday.
The Redskins practiced in front of hundreds of families before the team's first preseason game of the season against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday.
The day began with a dreary weather forecast, but ended with the sun shining on the 1,000 kids who received free Redskins sunglasses as the gate giveaway, courtesy of the Redskins Charitable Foundation. When not watching practice, families spent time in the Kids Zone, which include the Play 60 obstacle course playground, Madden on the Xbox 1, football throwing targets, selfies with player cutouts, face painting and balloon animal stations.
For Josh Kutner, taking his children Evan and Rachel to training camp was the continuation of a family tradition. Kutner grew up during the Gibbs glory years and was excited to introduce his children to Redskins lore and give them their own unforgettable experience.
"As a kid, I would love to go to games, and do any events with the Redskins," Kutner said. "It's a dream come true to be able to take my own kids out here and expose them to all the fun stuff I was into since I was a kid, so it's been a great experience today."
Many players had a special appreciation for the families that came out in droves on a weekday. While signing autographs for admiring young fans, Pierre Garçon reminisced on when he was in their shoes as a kid in Florida attending Miami Dolphins training camp, an experience that allows him to empathize and have fun with the kids that approach him.
"It's definitely a good feeling," Garçon said. "I remember when I was a kid I went out to training camp watching the Dolphins team practice, it's the coolest thing ever to get their autographs, to be in their atmosphere, in their environment, just to be around them, so I know how it feels. Just trying to get autographs, to get whatever souvenir you can get from a training camp practice."
Michael Peterman and his son Daniel, who was rocking a brand new DeSean Jackson jersey, are both Richmond natives who were excited to see the team before the players headed to Atlanta on Wednesday. Michael felt Kids Day was special because he and his son bonded watching their favorite players while his son also absorbed the value of discipline, teamwork and attention to detail.
"It's awesome to be here with my son because I pass on the tradition of loving the Redskins and just loving football and wanting to be out here," Michael said. "Daniel's out here and enjoying it and having a good time. It's awesome that it's in Richmond, it's a free event, you can come out and enjoy it, and really get to see what they do and how much work they put into becoming a good football player and a good athlete."