Clinic for kids focuses on agility, quickness

Photos by Alphonso Abbott Jr.- Deiontae Jones, right, shows Albert Redd some defensive back drills during the Chris Hairston Clinic held at Carver High School on June 30.

Clinic for kids focuses on agility, quickness
July 06
05:00 2017

Chris Hairston was a standout offensive tackle for the Carver Yellow Jackets in the early part of the new millennium.  Following a stellar high school career, which included him playing his entire senior year as a 16-year-old against much older opponents, he went on to star at Clemson University. 

Now a seven-year NFL veteran, he has not forgotten his roots as he held his second annual football clinic at Carver High School on June 30.

The clinic, which was free for the kids, included drills to enhance the kids agility, quickness and strength.  Following the drills, Hairston sat the kids down and spoke to them about financial literacy, the importance of education and setting goals.  Hairston also had friends, family members and other athletes speak to the kids to encourage them to stay on the right path.   

“The point was to try and just really do something positive,” Hairston said.  “There were not too many frills; we just wanted to throw some music on and have some fun out there in the grass with the kids.”

This year, Hairston was able to enlist some sponsors to assist in his efforts with the clinic.  PDQ (People Dedicated to Quality) and a local dentist donated food and funds to help out with the clinic. 

“This was huge for them to participate because we are just trying to keep this local and for the community,” Hairston said.  “People in the community really stepped up with food and handled expenses for shirts and other equipment.  All around this has been a great experience, and it’s always a fun time.”

Hairston continues to stay humble even with his status as a successful NFL player.  He says just being able to put a smile on the kids’ faces makes it all worthwhile. 

“You can’t take for granted when a child walks up to you and wants an autograph,” he said.  “They really don’t know who I am, all they know is that I have put in work and done good things playing football.  I just appreciate them coming out and letting me be a positive factor in their lives.”

The community was really appreciative of Hairston for having his camp and making it free for the kids.  Brittany Ward, director of Hoops4L.Y.F.E nonprofit, brought out several of her young men to enjoy the camp.  She says her kids enjoyed the entire atmosphere of the camp, especially the speeches given by the coaches.

“The speeches were very motivational and effective, and I think the kids will take it and apply them throughout life,” said Ward.  “A camp like this is very beneficial because the kids are able to get experiences and lessons from a professional player.  I just thank Chris for this, and the kids will take a lot from this positive and influential day.”

Jocon Penn, a young man in the camp, said, “I liked it a lot because I was able to make some new friends and learned a lot about football.  I learned a lot about Chris Hairston, and I really had a good time.”

Hairston says in the years to come, they will continue to evolve and expand the clinic.  He says eventually they want the camp to encompass they entire weekend.  Next year they plan to have a gala event where they auction off memorabilia along with having a bowling event for the kids to have even more fun.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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