The man with the most kick returns for touchdowns in NFL history will be sharing his knowledge with youths from West Orange and around Central Florida on Saturday at Olympia High School.
Devin Hester will host a free youth football clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 11, through his Devin Hester Foundation. Hester, a longtime kick returner and wide receiver for the Chicago Bears and currently a member of the Atlanta Falcons, recently moved to Windermere and is hoping to use this event — his first such event in the greater Orlando area — as an opportunity to plant roots in his new community.
“Devin has been very involved in philanthropic outreach both in South Florida, where he grew up, and in Chicago, where he previously played,” said Terri Grunduski, a founding partner of The Grunduski Group, which partners with organizations such as Hester’s. “He wanted to start hosting these football clinics in his new hometown to let people know he is very serious about making an impact.”
The clinic, which closed registration on Tuesday, is anticipated to have more than 550 participants who are able to be there for free, thanks to sponsors of the event. The youth athletes will be divided into age groups and taught football skills, drills and tips along with life skills.
Hester won’t be the only celebrity in attendance, as he has invited several of his Falcons teammates — including Roddy White and Julio Jones — as well as a number of other former teammates, such as Tim Jennings (cornerback, Chicago Bears) and Major Wright (safety, Tampa Bay Bucs). Local high-school coaches will also be in attendance to help with the instruction.
Campers, who will range in age from 6 to 15, will be from various branches of the Boys & Girls Club in Central Florida, as well as other youth organizations and local kids from Windermere, MetroWest and other parts of West Orange.
Hester has a vision of one day launching his own youth center here in his new hometown, likely a Boys & Girls Club. As a youth in South Florida, Hester was heavily involved in a local branch and credits the guidance he received as helping him attain the success he has achieved.
“(Hester is) a product of the Boys & Girls Club, and he had a mentor there who he felt kept him on the right track and helped him get where he is today,” Grunduski said.
Although registration has ended, spectators are welcome to attend the event, and there is a waiting list for would-be participants.
For more, visit devinhesterfoundation.org.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].