Tampa Bay Inferno’s Wide Receiver Dominique Jacobs led kids in Relief Care for essential workers at the Central City YMCA in a live demo last month.
Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation and the Tampa Bay Inferno Women’s Tackle Football teams partnered with the Tampa Y for two “All-Star” weeks. The goal was to provide virtual tools to help kids stay active at home while schools were closed.
It’s the brain child of Sarah Hays, Tampa Y Executive Director of Before and After School Enrichment. “Let’s come up with a creative, fun way to engage our kids in physical fitness,” says Sarah. “We were able to reach out to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation and they were able to provide us these amazing fitness videos for our kids.”
“It’s really cool to do workouts with the Bucs,” said Youth Relief Care participant Giovani Perez. “And the workouts that they do are hard, but it helps your body.”
Tampa Y Director of Administration and Tampa Bay Inferno Tackle Football Team Owner Jennifer Moody also got her players involved by videotaping exercises that focused on cardio strength, balance, basic running, lunges and yoga. The athletes were more than excited to jump on board.
“We saw the important role the Tampa YMCA was playing in our community during the pandemic and we were thrilled to partner with the Y and support the Relief Care program,” Jennifer says. “Our athletes thrive on opportunities to give back and support our community and this was the perfect way to do so.”
Wide Receiver Dominique Jacobs, who is also a sixth-grade teacher at Pinellas Park Middle School, visited Relief Care kids at the Bob Gilbertson Central City Family YMCA and coached them in an actual live demo. She says she enjoyed being a part of something bigger again. “It was a no brainer when asked about it,” she says, “so it was like, ‘Let me get dirty! Let me get in there!’”
“We did a lot of exercises and touchdown celebrations,” says Brianda Obispo, as she demonstrated one of her dances.
“They were amazing!” exclaimed Dominque. “I enjoyed it so I want to keep going!”
Whether it was seeing the Bucs on screen to having a live player take the time to stop by, it helped the group who have been missing their school friends feel like kids again. “I would always play basketball with them, plays cards with them, play games with them,” Giovani says.
“It just shows their community impact and the fact that they’re willing to not only help our kids, but our families. If we can take their minds off of what’s happening out in the real world for a few minutes out of the day, it goes a long way,” says Sarah. “You saw the smiles on their faces, they were engaged. It’s, again, another fun way to get our kids active through fitness.”