Raleigh Boys Club flag football program teaching kids on and off the field

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- It's what these kids have been waiting for all summer long---the super bowl.

"Even during the day as I run programs they want to come up...'Mr. Joe can we work on running? Can we work on agility?'" said Joseph Gray. "I just love the constant progression that they see."

"A lot of kids might not think they're good at football but they come out here and are doing pretty good," said athlete Gary Williams II. "They can start playing tackle football and things like that."

The goal of the Boys and Girls Club is to have kids come at least 52 times a year. Flag football has increased attendance this summer.

"Flag football gives them a sense of belonging," said Club Director Durell Petway. "It gives them their reason to come to the club every day."

"It helps me stay active and it's a really good thing they're doing for the community," Williams said.

It's not just about running routes or staying active. The kids are learning about being a teammate, gaining confidence and setting long-term goals.

"It gives them goals, things to look forward to," said parent Thomas Whyte. "It might not be football it might be basketball or baseball. Anything dealing with other kids, communicating and making friends."

"Everyone can't have the chance to pay for certain childcare every day,"said Petway. "So when you have the chance, like the Boys and Girls Club, to give you a safe positive place for your kids to go, it's always going to be a great asset to your community."

These kids come from all different backgrounds and walks of life -- something coach Joe says can help them.

"I think it shows them that regardless of what someone else is going through, you can still work together as a team," he said. "You know because they come from a variety of places but coming here shows them that I can help you be better just as much as you can help me."

"We have something called the open door policy so if somebody comes down and sees us playing football they can come in," Williams said. "Whenever their parents come they can just get their information and come back again."

"It saved me from going down a different path," Whyte said. "It's still saving kids today from going down different paths. It's a good thing."
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