Football clinic to educate international students

Photo by Sho Kitamura

Recently, the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Athletic Association (GTAA) have been planning a football clinic to be held during the weekend after Hell Week. The one-day program will promote American football among international students and rally school spirit, relative to the Tech football season.

The clinic will be a one-day event with free food, footballs, and a couple of plays if possible, according to Nick Picon, SGA Vice President of Campus Affairs.

The idea for this is based off of Rice University’s very own football clinic, which was started to increase ticket sales and give their football program more attention within their campus’s international community.

According to Rice University’s campus blog, the football clinic there holds a tailgate where students cook out and get excited for the upcoming events, teach an info session on the fundamentals of American football and finish the day with students entering field through the tunnel to experience drills and a simple football game.

“…to top it all off, we’re going to teach the art of tailgating.”

SGA and the Athletic Association hope to offer the same opportunity to international Tech students on one day between Hell week and Dead week.

“It’s a work in progress, but the way that we want to do it is possibly getting Coach Paul Johnson come out and say a few things,” said Kris Surapaneni, SGA Athletic and Recreational Services committee co-chair. “The next thing would involve players dividing people up and teaching them the art and fundamentals of football…and to top it all off, we’re going to teach the art of tailgating.”

The international football clinic could be run by Tech football staff and players who will be able to show Tech students how football season can be enjoyed on and off the field.

Former Tech football player and GTAA representative Roddy Jones expressed the value of this program.

“Students who come here from other countries are not even familiar with the rules of football, and it can be a complicated game if you are seeing it for the first time,” Jones said. “By getting out there and educated or meeting players and learning about the game, we hope that they become more interested.”

International students have also expressed interest in the program.

“I think it’s a wonderful initiative because when I first came to Tech, I had no idea about American football,” said second-year ISyE major Anubhav Jain. “It’s important to make people aware about football, teaching them the rules and the traditions. When Tech’s playing, you see empty stands, which is disappointing because the stadium is massive and we should have full stands.”

While the football clinic is still being developed and structured, funding for the program is expected to come from a variety of outlets.

“Most likely, the funds will come from some combination of the AA, SGA and possibly Buzzcard funds,” Picon said.

“As far as expenditures go, this will not be a high budget type of deal, and facilities will be the biggest item, which will provided by the Athletic Association as far as we were told,” Surapaneni said.

The International Football Clinic will tentatively be held on the weekend of April 20 and April 21. Further development of the program is still being conducted.