Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville’s Morale Wellness and Recreation (MWR) department and Commissary hosted a free NFL Football Procamp at Sea King Park July 12-13.
The camp was open to boys and girls in grades one through eight who were dependents of active duty military, military retirees or Department of Defense employees.
NAS Jacksonville Commissary won a contest earlier in the year to hold a football camp on base.
“The sponsor of the NFL Pro camps is Proctor and Gamble,” said Bob Darden, assistant store director. “P&G conducts sales contest each year and all commissaries around the world participate in the sales contest. NAS Jax was one eight individual store winners.”
The Procamp was hosted by NFL player Andre Roberts, a New York Jets wide receiver and 2018 NFL/USAA Salute to Service winner.
“This is the perfect niche for me to give back,” Roberts said. “I understand these kids and I understand that it’s not just the men and women who are in the military, it’s the entire family.”
Roberts is no stranger to the active duty lifestyle. Not only was Roberts a graduate of the Citadel, but both of his parents were active duty Army. Throughout his childhood, Roberts experienced the military family norm of moving around quite a bit and the sacrifices that go along with being a military family.
“I just love coming out here and having fun with the kids,” Roberts said.
NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Connor threw out the first pass and gave the boys and girls a motivating speech at the kickoff of the camp.
“We talked about what you need to do to get to where this guy [Roberts] is,” Connor said.
“Have fun in sports and do good in school. You can’t get to where he is without doing good in school. Listen to your teachers and most importantly, listen to your parents.”
Connor thanked the parents and MWR for helping to ensure that the camp was a success.
“Parents, thank you for getting your kids involved in events like this,” Connor said. “Also, a big thank you to MWR and the Commissary for making this event happen.”
During the camp, participants worked on basic football fundamentals and engaged in friendly competition.
Roberts hoped that the kids would leave the camp knowing that hard work and dedication can lead to limitless options.
“I hope they learn some football skills and hopefully make some friends,” Roberts said.
“By the end of it I want them to know that if they work hard and give great effort with whatever they are doing, they’ll achieve their goals.”
Neither the U.S. Navy, NAS Jacksonville, MWR or Jax Air News, nor any part of the federal government, officially endorses any company, sponsor or their products or services.