RI Football Academy reaches 20th year of teaching the next generation

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CRANSTON (WPRI) — Another year, another camp for the Rhode Island Football Academy. This week produced another great turnout of children aged 6-18, learning the ins and outs of the game.

“In our twenty years of doing this, our job as coaches is to teach the game the right way, but also to give them the opportunity to step onto the court in the fall,” said Paul Sylvia, the director of the academy. “Anyone can make the team, you want to earn one of those 22 places.”

For some young players, this is their first taste of football camp, but for others, they have been coming to this camp for a long time, and with each passing year, it becomes more and more exciting.

“I’ve been coming here since I was eight,” said La Salle sophomore Johnny Bigden. “I think it’s a really good opportunity to develop your technique for your season in the fall so that you improve, so your coaches can see that you’ve improved.”

Performance is just the shell of what these coaches want the kids to take away from this week.

“The biggest thing we are proud of is just seeing the improvement in the children from Monday to Friday. The fact that we still have a child to smile when he leaves here,” Sylvia said.

“We’re having the awards show on Friday just to see the kids smile at the end of the week, maybe because the week is over or maybe they had so much fun, but that’s just good to see the kids smiling.”

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