In honor of Women’s History Month, the Los Angeles Rams hosted a girls’ flag football clinic at Edward Vincent Park on Friday. Along with conducting throwing and running drills, Nike gave the participants t-shirts and sports bras.
After the clinic, the Rams hosted a panel consisting of their own front office members and representatives from Nike. The clinic was meant to encourage young girls to play sports, according to L.A. Rams partnership Marketing Account Manager Bianca Graves.
“Girls typically drop out of sports around the age of 14,” she said. “This event is really just to encourage them to continue to be involved in recreation, whether it’s through flag football or just in general.”
Players from the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) led the youth in drills. They are members of the Cali War womens’ tackle football team.
“The women at Cali War, we do awesome things because we do things that some people think that we can’t, we play women’s tackle football,” said Cali War defensive back Jasmine Edwards. We’re out here trying to be role models to the youth just to show that they can do anything they want to do.”
The girls participated in two offensive drills and two defensive drills. They taught the youth about protecting the ball, changing speeds when running, snapping the ball, and running at the right angle. The Cali War players not only coached the youth through the drills, but executed the drills along with them.
MaLon Williams, 11, attended the event because her PE teacher stressed the importance of staying active.
“I learned how to move around differently, you have to run to get something instead of just walking,” Williams said.
Among the panel members was Casey Africano who works in player affairs with the Rams. Her job entails supporting the daily needs of the players. She wanted to share with the girls the importance of believing in themselves.
“Looking back at a Super Bowl season, I think it’s just really important to number one lift each other up and lift the people up in your world, but also understand that you can lift yourself up as well,” Africano said. “I think it’s usually important for these girls to remember who they are and how valuable they are to this world.”
Last January, the Rams and Chargers partnered with Nike to launch the L.A. League of Champions Girls Flag Football program. Both franchises co-sponsored eight teams, schools that participated included Inglewood, Crenshaw, and Morningside. The inaugural season lasted for five weeks. Nike provided several resources including coaching stipends and manuals, officials, athletic trainers, uniforms, and transportation. Nike community ambassador Cynthia Martinez was happy to see young girls motivated to play sports.
“Partnerships like this bring people together and they bring communities together and encourages the communities to actually be active,” Martinez said. “Nike bringing in t-shirts and bringing in sports bras for the girls, it’s super key, super essential.”