Throughout August, the Rams hosted five free evening football and cheer clinics for communities in South Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley in partnership with The GRYD Foundation and their Summer Night Lights (SNL) program.
"Summer Night Lights is a phenomenal initiative throughout the LA region," said Johnathan Franklin, Rams Director of Social Justice and Football Development. "Extending the park hours provides our organization the opportunity to use football as a vehicle to create unity amongst community members, break down barriers that exist because of division with gangs, and provide opportunities to cheer, play football, and even coach. These camps are bigger than football. The Rams are in the community to express how much we care and to encourage our future leaders to dream beyond their realities."
During the 2-hour clinics, youth participated in football-related drills and competitions as Rams Cheerleaders led cheer clinic participants in warm-ups, stretching exercises, and the basics of cheer and dance. At the end of each clinic, the participants would come together for a flag football scrimmage, and each went home with a Rams t-shirt and poster.
"The Rams care about their community so much. Our number one priority as an organization is uplifting the Los Angeles community and reaching into every single corner of Angelenos lives," said Sammy, Rams fourth-year Cheer Captain. "I love that we focus on getting involved with kids at a young age, not only to interest them in the Rams as a team that they will hopefully cheer for as they continue to grow up but also to show them the importance of community and how much the Los Angeles Rams care about them, even as individuals. I think it's great."
The clinics introduced community members to new possibilities and inspired over 100 young people by creating impactful moments that will last a lifetime.
SNL is an essential component of the GRYD (Gang Reduction and Youth Development) Comprehensive Strategy and is a summer staple in the Los Angeles communities most impacted by gang violence. SNL works to create safe environments during the peak times for gang-related violence by providing free meals, extended programming, sports leagues and more. These services and activities are free to those who remain in the parks until close.
The evening clinics were held at Mount Carmel Recreation Center, Lemon Grove Recreation Center, Valley Plaza Recreation Center, Normandale Recreation Center, and Ross Snyder Recreation Center.
To learn more about the Rams community efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.