SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The Central New York Football Academy will host the 10th edition of its sports event for kids on Saturday. Nearly 300 kids ages nine to 12 will participate in football drills, basketball, and martial arts.
The hosts for the event? Some of the best athletes to have ever graced the Central New York Area. Buffalo Bills running back Latavius Murray, former NFL player Tyvon Branch, and former Syracuse University basketball star Eric Devendorf.
The director of the academy, Michael Poirier, says the event brings a lot of joy, along with some inspiration.
“It’s tremendous to see their smiles,” said Poirier. “You know, it only takes one or two of these kids to say ‘hey, I can do what they did, I can make it,’ we want them all to think that way.”
It is Devendorf’s first year participating in the event, and he is already cherishing the opportunity to give back to the next generation.
“I’m just super grateful to be able to be a part of something so special because I don’t really think people know how much it really means to these kids to be able to, you know, not only speak and talk to, but interact and do drills with guys who have played with the best in the world,” said Devendorf.
Poirier says that he consistently receives positive feedback from parents about the event and its ability to inspire kids. The plan is to continue expanding the event and the academy more generally, which could in turn end up helping more young people.