By Stacey Bomser
The YMCA of South Florida and New Orleans Saints Running Back Travaris Cadet teamed up to provide campers with a Sports Extravaganza at the Weston YMCA Family Center. More than 450 children, plus members of the Cypress Bay Lightning football team, took part in the program which featured inspirational speeches and action-packed activities.
The day began at the Event Stage in Weston Regional Park with a welcome from Weston City Commissioners Thomas Kallman, Toby Feuer and Byron Jaffe. Kallman shared stories of his children’s positive camp experiences, but noted they never had the opportunity to interact with NFL professionals who embody what the Y stands for: dedication to health, mind, body and leadership.
Cadet then took the stage, delivering an encouraging speech about his dream of becoming a professional football player and stressing to the campers the importance of developing a strong work ethic at an early age. That message was reinforced when other NFL players took the stage, sharing their words of encouragement with the campers before the skills clinic.
Cadet was joined by NFL colleagues Demetrius McCray of the Seattle Seahawks, Jonathan Freeny of the New England Patriots, Gabe Holmes of the Oakland Raiders, Brian Dixon of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Brandon Dixon of the Pittsburg Steelers.
Throughout the day, campers took part in various activities focused on agility, speed, coordination, and teamwork. In addition to teaching the kids sports skills, the NFL players stressed the importance of leading a healthy life and keeping their minds and bodies active to build confidence.
The Sports Extravaganza ended with an autograph session and chance for campers to pose for pictures with the professional football players.
YMCA of South Florida CEO & President Sheryl Woods says the program was a nice complement to the summer program offerings at the Weston Y. “The Sports Extravaganza with Travaris Cadet is just one of the many specialty camps like STEM, Mini Master Chefs, Art and Science. All of our camps are about development, building friendships and creating a sense of belonging. By partnering with professional sports players like Travaris and his friends, we also bring an added element of fun and excitement to it.”