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April 10, 2014

Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

N7 initiative seeks to promote healthy lifestyle and future success

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“I wanted to be out here for service,” OU quarterback Trevor Knight said, “serve the kids of this community. They are supportive us; we need to be supportive of them. Just let them have a fun day running around the practice field. It’s a blessing to come out here and be here for these kids.

“For Oklahoma to put something like this on is pretty cool.”

The event included sports-related and cultural activities such as bead work, nutrition, refueling station, stick ball, stretching, track/sprints, hula hoop, jump rope, four square and soccer.

Each station was manned by several OU athletes.

“It’s huge, for any kid, not just in this community, to come out here and run around with a bunch of athletes. It’s a dream come true for little kids,” Knight said. “I know when I was little, I would have loved to have done something like this. Just to be able to serve them in this way is pretty special.”

One of the ambassadors of Nike N7 initiative is the first native American Dallas Cowboy’s cheerleader Veronica Lind. As a member of the Navajo tribe, she knows how important good role models can be among her people.

“It’s unfortunate that Native Americans get the kind of coverage and rap that you can’t be successful,” Lind said. “That Native Americans struggle with obesity, drug abuse, alcoholism. So it’s important for ambassadors and athletes to come out and show Native American children that you can be a role model and that you can succeed and that there is opportunity for you.”

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said he envisions Sooners For N7 becoming an annual event and was pleased with the way students jumped at the chance to support the community.

“I think it’s a big showing of what we are here,” Knight said. “This is completely student-athlete run. So we just have a really good group of core people that are putting this kind of stuff on.

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