Written by Luis Sung | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
On Thursday morning, the Miami Dolphins Youth Programs went to Melrose Elementary school to give approximately 500 students a lesson on the importance of education, physical fitness and positive choices. The slogan they used was called being "Dolfit."
"The message of being "dolfit" - we stress education, physical fitness and positive choices." said Youth and Community Programs Manager and former Dolphins tight end Troy Drayton. "It's a staple of the Miami Dolphins Youth Programs, it's something that we truly believe is the foundation for success."
As the children came and were informed of which station they would be assigned to first, Drayton sat them all down and shared his testimony to the children on how thankful he was to his parents that they had stressed finishing his education when he was young.
Drayton led the kids through stretches before the activities began, but hilarity ensued more than once when during jumping jacks, Drayton had to stop all of the overly-enthusiastic students from counting too fast.
After that, the kids went to their assigned numbers, as there were six different drills set up on the grassy field for them to try.
"They're called Junior Training Camp Drills," Drayton explained. "We got a quarterback drill, we have a linebacker drill, we have a team drill, an obstacle course ... it's good, they whack away at the big [tackling] dummies, dive on the dive pad and all that kind of stuff so the kids have a good time."
The kids would eventually rotate out so that every student had several opportunities to try out every single drill as the volunteers instructed them in how to do the drill. Some of the volunteers came with Drayton, while some of them were teachers from Melrose Elementary who had graciously taken the time to help out in any way they could.
Besides the training camp activities, Drayton had brought another volunteer with him to add a cheerleading component and teach the young girls who might have been interested. Fourth-year Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Melissa led the girls through a cheer routine that they later performed in front of their classmates after they were finished with the camp drills.
"I always have so much fun," Melissa said. "I know we do it for them, but they really make my day. They're always so happy to see me and they always dance so full out, and they're always smiling. I think it's really making a positive impact on them."
The Miami Dolphins Junior Cheerleaders, as Drayton called them, got a big round of applause from their fellow classmates after they were finished, and no doubt the experience inspired some of those young girls to one day possibly become an official Dolphins cheerleader.
While the event itself was amazing in its own right, what I found even more stunning was when Drayton informed me that they actually do this event twice a week. This is not a typo. Drayton and his team of volunteers do the event twice a week. Every Wednesday and Thursday throughout the school year, they go to a different school somewhere within West Palm Beach, Miami Dade or Broward County.
It takes nothing short of a true love and dedication towards children to be able to do such an elaborate event twice every week, and that is what makes what Drayton, Melissa and their team of volunteers do so admirable. Truly, they show that we are Stronger Together.