Amid chants of “Let’s go Giants” and “You’re Number One,” the athletes were broken up into smaller groups based on age and then warmed up with a few 20-yard dash and relay races. Many athletes were sneaking glances around the stadium, hoping to be the first to spot their NFL heroes.
The Giants led their groups in some stretching exercises before having them rotate through separate punt, pass and kick stations. Athletes got to run drills and were coached on fundamentals and proper technique, as well as sportsmanship.
All of the athletes encouraged one another by cheering, high-fives and applause. Any time one participant was hesitant to punt or throw the ball, everyone in their group proved supportive. This boost in confidence resulted in some monstrous kicks and incredible throws.
Following the clinic, Tynes addressed the athletes saying, “I love and care deeply about all of you. I look forward to this day every year, and so do Steve and Zak.” He thanked everyone for coming and offered words of encouragement: “Remember what I always say…”
Laughter roared through the crowd when one of the athletes interrupted, yelling “You’re the best football player ever!” Tynes jokingly agreed, “Yes!!” and then got back on track saying, “I always say, you guys can do anything you want to do!”
After being presented with their own Special Olympics hats, Tynes, Weatherford and DeOssie signed autographs and took photos before the athletes were escorted up into the Press Box for lunch. All participants received a Punt, Pass & Kick t-shirt from the Giants to take home.
The Punt, Pass & Kick Clinic is part of Special Olympics New Jersey’s ongoing relationship with the NY Giants. View photos from the 2012 Punt, Pass & Kick Clinic on our Flickr site HERE.