Marines, athletes partner to serve community

Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl competitors and Marines
Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl competitors and Marines

Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl competitors and Marines met in community parks to mentor children from Carson and Long Beach, Calif.

High school athletes competing in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl played games with local children that were meant to teach leadership and sportsmanship.

CARSON, CALIF. – Two days before 100 of the country's top high school football athletes battled it out on the football field at the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, they met in the community parks of Carson and Long Beach to mentor children from the area. More than 250 kids ages 5-12 took part in a Community Service Day. These elite athletes joined forces with Marines and their football coaches to spend a few hours with the kids teaching them the importance of good sportsmanship, leadership, health and wellness as part of bowl week.

One athlete stated, "My favorite thing is probably the community service event because seeing all the kids and seeing how they interact with us and looked up to us, it's always an honor when you have people looking up to you like that."

The participants rotated through a course of eight stations of Marine Corps and football activities manned by Marines, coaches and athletes. Kids learned how to pass, kick and run the ball from the football coaches, while the Marines taught them about boot camp and how to walk in cadence.

Mike Whittaker, Acting Program Manager at Carson Parks and Recreations said, "We at the City of Carson are extremely pleased with the SFAAB Community Outreach. The Children that participated were able to convert an average day at the park into a healthy bonding experience and look into their future sports goals. The team building exercises allowed the youth to see the many skills needed to play football."

This Community Service event provided the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl and the Marine Corps with the opportunity to leave a lasting impact with the Los Angeles community. These events provide the bowl week with a distinction among all others by speaking directly to the Marine values of Corps, country and community.