The formula is simple: food + football + fun + fashion = one great event. The 2017 Women’s Football Clinic was held Saturday in the Woodford Reserve room at Kroger Field with 260 ladies in attendance. Jennifer Palumbo served as the event emcee, and the ladies were treated to presentations from the coaching staff. This was my 4th year to attend this clinic and I must say, it gets better every year.
As the ladies arrived and checked in at the registration table, they got their swag bags and then headed upstairs. A nice array of muffins, scones, and pastries awaited and ladies could eat breakfast and wander out to the deck overlooking the football field. To make sure the participants were well-fed, lunch was served after all of the day’s presentations and field drills.
Football? Yep, there was plenty of that. The coaching staff gave outstanding presentations, including everything from a typical day of practice to how they break down practice film to evaluate players. There were actual clips from games that allowed the coaches to explain what defensive (or offensive) strategy they used for a particular play, why that strategy was selected, and if it was successful. One could think showing this kind of detail could bring down the energy in a room, but the coaches knew how to counteract that: make sure to sprinkle in liberal doses of play clips from Kentucky’s victory over Louisville in 2016. Each of these clips brought cheers from the ladies (and I suspect the coaches were more than happy to relive that game).
The women were also invited to go down to the field and participate in a few skill drills. Based on the performances of a few ladies, I think Vince Marrow may wish to expand his recruiting area.
— Kindsey Bernhard (@kindseybernhard) July 22, 2017
Some of the ladies will tell you they attend this clinic each year because they want to learn more about football. Some will say it’s for the fellowship with other Wildcat fans. Others will say it’s just a fun day. But if the majority of the ladies were being honest, they attend to see the fashion show. This segment has become more popular each year as several current players model some of the uniform combinations and they have a great time with it. It wouldn’t be fair to show you everything (after all, the ladies paid for the privilege of attending this event), but we can show you this video:
— Jennifer Palumbo (@JenNimePalumbo) July 22, 2017
As far as fan-friendly events go, this one is excellent. There was plenty of time prior to the first presentation for the attendees to mingle with coaches and every coach was more than gracious with their time. They genuinely enjoy the time with the BBN ladies and no photo request was denied. As if all of this weren’t enough, there were also a ton of door prizes given away.
During this year’s drawing, the crowd was asked how many of the ladies had attended the clinic for 10 years. After seeing a large number of hands raised, that number was increased to 11, 12 and then up to 16. The four ladies that were left with their hands in the air were asked up to the stage and were each given a door prize for their long time dedication to this event. Then each of them was given one more ticket to award a UK football helmet. Laura Williams, who had never won a single door prize in her 16 years as a faithful clinic attendee was ecstatic when her ticket was drawn.
Perhaps one of the most popular presentations of the day was “A Day in the Life of Austin MacGinnis.” When
you are able to kick a last-minute game-winning field goal against Mississippi State, the fans remember. When you follow that up with a game-winner against Louisville, the fans will never forget. Austin shared a typical day that is filled with working out, practice, graduate classes, homework, and sleep. MacGinnis fielded questions from the crowd nicely and drove home the theme the coaches had been preaching all day: we need to fill up Kroger Field every game.
After all of the day’s festivities, the ladies were given a tour of the Joe Craft Football Training Center. While this tour was part of last year’s clinic, construction was still not complete, so this year’s tour was especially pleasant,
All in all, fun was the theme of the day. As long as UK Football continues using their winning formula, I expect next year’s event to be even more successful.
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