Fathers and daughters enjoyed quality time and friendly competition at the Dads and Daughters Football Camp at the 49ers SAP Performance Facility next to the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Activities included football drills, a question and answer session, and a barbecue with San Francisco 49ers coaches, players, alumni, executives, and their daughters. The event was orchestrated and hosted by the San Francisco 49ers in partnership with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI).
More than 120 fathers and father figures took the opportunity to spend time with their daughters as part of the 49ers’ commitment to the NFL PLAY 60 campaign, which encourages kids to go outside and be active for 60 minutes a day.
“The Dads and Daughters Football Camp aligns with the 49ers Foundation’s mission to keep kids ‘Safe, On Track, and In School,'” said Joanne Pasternack, executive director and community relations director of the 49ers Foundation.
“By hosting programs aimed at encouraging young women to maximize their full potential in athletics, academics, and the community, the Foundation is helping to develop the next generation of leaders,” she said.
The camp gave Eric Reid, safety on the 49ers team, an opportunity to spend his day off with his 5-year-old daughter, LeiLani.
“I would not want to do it any other way. It is more than just a bonding for an afternoon,” Reid said. “It leaves a lasting bonding for life, and I am grateful to the SF 49ers team for organizing such meaningful events for the community at large.”
Retired 49ers quarterback Steve Bono and his daughter Sophia, a Palo Alto High School graduate and a student at Arizona State University, took on the challenge of competing in relay runs.
“I forgot how to do it right,” Bono stated. “But I rely on Sophia to lead us victoriously to the finish line.”
Bono became the starting quarterback in 1995 after Joe Montana retired. The same year, Bono ran 76 yards for a touchdown, breaking the record at that time for the longest scoring run by a quarterback in the NFL.
49ers head coach Jim Tomsula took time out of his extremely busy schedule to show support for the Dads and Daughters Football Camp, though his daughters are currently away at college. He happily socialized with the other attendees and said, “This is my family too.”
The 49ers and BAWSI are focusing on empowering young girls and families to develop leadership skills on and off the field while teaching them to live a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle.
Their collaborative mission is to encourage young women to develop their potential in athletics, academics, and the community, the 49ers website reported.
“We stand for women in sports and that starts with girls in sports,” said BAWSI CEO Jennifer Smith, according to the website. “Girls who are active and involved in sports have higher self-esteem, they have better body image.”
The 49ers kicked off their 2015 football season this month, and they plan to host Super Bowl 50 in 2016 at Levi’s Stadium.
The San Francisco 49ers Foundation, a nonprofit extension of the San Francisco 49ers, has donated $30.6 million to nonprofits since 1992, according to the 49ers website.
BAWSI is a nonprofit corporation founded in 2005. The corporation’s website states, “BAWSI provides a meaningful path for women athletes to become a more visible and valued part of the Bay Area sports culture.”