WALLINGFORD — Local children practiced alongside professional football players Saturday afternoon as part of the annual NFL Players’ Weekend.
“It’s an awesome way to teach them and show them the ropes,” said T.J. Linta, whose father Joe Linta partnered with United Way of Meriden and Wallingford on the youth clinic, which was held at Choate Rosemary Hall.
“An enhanced joy for the game is the biggest thing,” Linta hopes to see the children come away with.
Linta, a quarterback for Brown University, said the players taught basic skills before practicing offensive and defensive positions.
“The kids love it and you get to interact with them in a way you wouldn’t be able to,” he said. “Football is a great sport where it brings kids together as a team.”
United Way Executive Director James Ieronimo said the clinic is his favorite event of the weekend, since it teaches kids sports and sportsmanship.
”It’s an amazing thing to watch,” he said.
“It gives them inspiration to pursue something, even if it’s not football,” said Jonna DiSanti, of Wallingford, as her daughter Gianna DiSanti, 15, practiced drills.
The weekend also featured a Friday night banquet and a Bowl-with-the Pros event Saturday night at Colony Lanes.