The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation on Sunday hosted Special Olympics Athletes for a Flag Football Clinic at the at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
While the Redskins prepare for the start of the NFL season in Richmond, Va., more than 80 Special Olympics athletes from Virginia kicked off the start of their flag football season in a big way on Sunday afternoon in the Indoor Practice Facility at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
For the second year, the Redskins Charitable Foundation has partnered with Special Olympics of Virginia to host a Flag Football Clinic to kick off the upcoming season and league at Redskins Park on Sunday, July 31, 2016.
For the second year, the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation will partner with Special Olympics of Virginia to sponsor a flag football team for area chapters of Special Olympics. Sunday's kick-off event enabled athletes from across the state to put their skills to the test and learn the fundamentals of the game before practices start in late August.
The event began with Special Olympics Coach Jack Naugle leading the athletes in dynamic stretches with the help of Redskins Cheerleaders Tasha and Kellie and Redskins alumnus Eddie Mason.
"It was a blessing for me and my family to be out here," said Mason, who was accompanied by his wife and two children. "The biggest [takeaway] about the event for me personally is the fact that you have these amazing athletes who aren't making excuses, who have big smiles on their faces, and who are giving it their all. It's such a blessing to be around such a lively bunch of individuals who are giving 110 percent."
Following warm-up activities, athletes were divided into groups and led through throwing and catching drills, speed and agility stations, and an obstacle course. Special Olympics coaches and volunteers from Bank of America and Crossroads United Methodist Church were on-site to lend a hand and cheer on the athletes.
"Bank of America has been a partner with Special Olympics for over 30 years," said Terri Seighman, Vice President and Project Manager of Enterprise Business and Community Engagement for Bank of America – Greater Washington. "It's great seeing all of the athletes and their families and how enthused and grateful they are for everything the Redskins are doing."
"Special Olympics provide year-round sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities," said Veronica Jennings, Potomac Region Director of Special Olympics Virginia. "[Athletes] look forward to the opportunity to interact with members of the community, especially the volunteers. Special Olympics is like their second family, so we're always looking for opportunities for [athletes] to get involved in their community."