Even though football team had the weekend off, the New Orleans Saints opened up their facility to some gridiron action of the touch variety on Saturday. The club hosted the Spring Championships in the NFL Flag program for a group called BRAIN, the Baton Rouge Athletic Initiatives Network.
There were over ten teams consisting of about 150 youths from the Baton Rouge-Denham Springs area between the ages of 6 and 17 that were competing on the same field indoors that Drew Brees throws passes and Reggie Bush runs routes in tournaments in their respective age groups. The tournament took place in a bracket-style playoff for their league which began play in March and concludes today.
"We hosted these championships today as a reward for the players, parents and coaches that took part in the NFL Flag League," said Saints Director of Youth Programs Jason Trosclair. "It's our desire to continue to grow the numbers for this league in our region. It's our way of showing them our support."
In between games, the youth, coaches, officials and their parents were treated to a lunch in the Saints cafeteria and given tours of the practice facility, including practice fields, meeting rooms and the team locker room.
Today's event was part of the NFL's flag program which is promoted in all of the regions where the league has clubs. There are leagues in New Orleans and Kenner that the club and league sponsor as well. The Saints have hosted regional flag tournaments in the past and will in the future, where champions go on to represent their cities in an annual event that takes place at Walt Disney World.