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Making NFL stars


Randy Bennett

Making NFL stars

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Ramon Harewood, Barbados’ NFL star, swapped his Baltimore Ravens uniform for shorts and a broad-rimmed hat as he hosted 110 eager participants in his inaugural Big Mon Elite Athlete Development Training Camp at Kensington Oval yesterday.
The 26-year-old offensive lineman, along with Super Bowl winning teammates, wide receiver Torrey Smith and defensive tackle Bryan Hall guided the excited youngsters, ranging between ages seven and 18, through drills and practice routines during the one-day camp.
In an interview with SUNSPORT, Harewood said it was his intention to expose the participants to the rigours of being a professional athlete.
“I know the amount of talent that we have here in Barbados, but my main intention is to bring a different mentality of training,” he added.
“I want to inspire some of the young athletes as well because when I was younger, I had people to look up to and people who tried to make me be the best that I could be.
“Right now, I just want to be a role model for some of the kids and help them to push themselves and let them know that perseverance and hard work goes a long way.”
Harewood said he was impressed with some of the talent which he had seen so far, especially considering that it was the first camp of its kind here.
“We’re still working out the kinks, since it’s the first time we’re holding the camp, but so far things have been going pretty good. I’m pretty impressed with what I have seen so far. I’ve seen quite a few big men with some good feet and that’s an important skill.
“I think once you have good feet, you have a good base and a good foundation.” Harewood said the camp concentrated on drills and various techniques, adding that he would include use of the football in later camps.
Smith and Hill were pleased with the camp, saying that they were pleasantly surprised at the natural talent shown by some of the participants.
“In its first year, I think the camp has been a hit with the kids. They’re enjoying themselves which is important and they are eager to learn,” Smith added.
Hill said: “I’m really enjoying the camp. It’s a whole new experience and a whole new culture.
“These kids have really impressed me, because we have been putting them through a heck of a workout, to say the least, and they’re responding and doing a very good job.”
For seven-year-old Zishan Motara, the youngest participant at the camp, the opportunity was a “dream come true”.
Although his favourite team in the NFL is the New England Patriots, he was still excited to have received some tips from the Ravens’ trio.
“I’m enjoying myself a lot and I’m getting a lot of good tips,” the diminutive Motara said, adding he would like to play in the NFL someday.
Christopher Mitchell, 14, told SUNSPORT he would be making full use of the advice which he had been given.
“I don’t watch it as regularly as I used to, but I’m still really enjoying myself.
“The advice has been very helpful and I plan to start playing American football so the advice will come in handy,” Mitchell said.

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