LONDON — The Vikings shared the game of American football with more than 100 eager youngsters on Friday afternoon at a ‘Play 60’ youth event across the pond.
Minnesota’s 10 practice squad players wrapped up practice and then headed to a nearby field at Hazelwood Park to teach kids about the basic of an unfamiliar sport.
“It was awesome, especially (because) kids here don’t necessarily get to experience football,” said Vikings wide receiver Cayleb Jones. “They were just excited to learn anything about it.”
Kids participated in running, catching, tackling and agility drills. They also played flag football. ‘Play 60’ is an NFL initiative that encourages kids to get outside and be active for at least 60 minutes each day.
Jones helped teach players along with Horace Richardson, Jack Tocho, Bronson Hill, Antwione Williams, Cornelius Edison, Cedrick Lang, Dylan Bradley, Kyle Carter and Ifeadi Idenigbo.
Pro Football Hall of Famers — and Vikings Ring of Honor members John Randle and Chris Doleman were also on hand to give the kids pointers.
Randle and Doleman have 288 combined sacks and each rank in the top 10 all-time in sacks in NFL history. Doleman is fourth all-time with 150.5 sacks while Randle is tied for ninth at 137.5.
Jones said some of the kids used soccer and rugby terminology, and he had to translate it to football speak at times.
But everyone understood each other during a catching drill in which Jones instructed each kid to do a celebration dance when they reached the end zone.
One kids did pushups while another teamed up with Jones to play hide-and-seek.
“It was cool to put a smile on those kids’ faces,” Jones said.