The Miami Dolphins rookie class has had a strong presence in the community from the moment they arrived in South Florida. While most events give the players an opportunity to give back, this time they were able to add coaching to the list. Accompanied by General Manager Dennis Hickey, the rookies met up with athletes from the Special Olympics at University School in Davie.
The group took a football field which was set up with various fitness stations and markings for flag football matches. Hickey addressed the group before the rookies put on their coaching hats and led the Special Olympic athletes as they went up against each other in two separate games on both sides of the 50-yard line.
Cheers were heard on both ends of the field from the players and their coaches as the competition stiffened and everyone got into the zone trying to outscore one another. At the conclusion of the games, they all quickly posed for a group picture before heading to their fitness stations.
With Hickey looking on, the rookies continued their coaching at each station for the final part of the day where cones, tackling dummies and footwork pads were set up for the athletes to go through fitness drills.
“I think the athletes are having as much fun as the (Special Olympic) athlete’s out here, and they are doing a great job with them and it’s a lot of fun,” Hickey said. “It’s important for us and it’s been an emphasis for the Dolphins to be giving back to our community and being involved and making an impact. Our guys have done a great job with that this offseason and we look forward to continuing that.”
It was easy to see everyone at the event thoroughly enjoyed themselves and recognized how memorable of an occasion it was for both the rookies and the Special Olympic athletes.
“This was my first time working with the Special Olympics group and it was fun,” Dolphins first-round draft choice Ja’Wuan James said. “It’s great just being out here and coming out here with all the other rookies and just having a good time. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces, being excited and us celebrating with them it was pretty cool.”