Team Gleason, NATA offer different types of camps

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METAIRIE – Hundreds of kids flooded the indoor football practice facility Tuesday morning at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

On one end of the field, Team Gleason hosted a life skills event with its namesake, Steve Gleason, leading the way.

On the other end, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association brought in hundreds of under-served youth for a sports safety and wellness camp entitled “Prepare to Play.”

Though the operations were different, both had similar messages. The Gleason camp, which continues through Wednesday, featured non-contact drills and player development for both tackle and flag football.

The sessions of the NATA camp focused on injury prevention and safe participation in sports. The association has a website with more information about its program for a safer approach to work, life and sport.

Scott Fujita

Scott Fujita had a hand in both events Tuesday. Fujita was working most of the morning with the Team Gleason event but then crossed the 50-yard line to speak to the entire group of NATA campers.

“Whether it’s football or anything,” Fujita told the NATA group, “attitude and work ethic are two things you have 100 percent control over. Have a good attitude and work hard.”

NATA grant check

In addition to hosting the clinic, the NATA presented $1,000 grants for sport safety to three local groups – the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana, Dryades YMCA and the NORD-C.

Both the NATA and Gleason have busy weeks ahead.

The NATA’s 69th annual clinical symposia and AT expo runs through Friday. Fujita and Gleason’s former teammate, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, will deliver the convention’s keynote address Thursday afternoon.

Gleason will be honored with the Dave Dixon Leadership Award by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night in Natchitoches.

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Lenny Vangilder


Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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