49ers Arik Armstead hosts Stay Hungry youth camp at Sacramento State
Jun 17, 2023, 12:30 PM | Updated: 8:26 pm
On a breezy summer morning, 49ers defensive tackle Arik Armstead was all smiles at Sacramento State University, playing football with the next generation of athletes from the 916.
The San Francisco defensive lineman and his non-profit, Armstead Academic Project, teamed up with Flexwork to put on the “Stay Hungry” youth camp for student athletes Saturday. More than 500 kids, from grades 6-9, made their way to Hornet Stadium for a chance to learn skills and life lessons.
While most won’t go on to be professional athletes, Armstead and his project have made it a priority to highlight youth sports, celebrating young athletes on their quest to play the game of football. And like Arik said in the introductions: It’s all about the children.
Arik Armstead speaking to the parents of these youth athletes on the field today. pic.twitter.com/VmDxvO9ZtS— Amiliano “Amil” Fragoso (@AmilianoFragoso) June 17, 2023
“It’s all about the kids and just wanting them to have an opportunity,” Armstead said to the media Saturday. “And to come out here, have some fun, play around, you know, be a kid for a day.”
This is the AAP’s first youth camp in a few years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that life is resumed to normalcy, Armstead sees an even greater need for camps like these. And with a record turnout, that need seems even more apparent than ever.
“It’s probably the biggest [camp] we’ve had,” he exclaimed. “Post pandemic, it’s even more apparent how important it is to get kids out the house and get them being active and being social around friends and support systems. So I think we’ll have a lot of fun today.”
The “Stay Hungry” camp has two main focuses: First, to help teach aspiring football players how to be better in their careers. And secondly, to get future student athletes interested in the classroom while playing sports. While one group will be partaking in drills, another will be taking campus tours. That way, kids can be excited for collegiate life on and off-the-field.
“We’re doing it here at Sac State and growing up, I wasn’t on a college campus too much. And I know that that’s not an opportunity that kids have very often so I want to expose them to college and get them thinking about their future as well. And I think it’s very important for a day like this, that they can start to think about their future,” Armstead explained.
A multi-year nominee for The Walter Payton Man of the Year award, the Elk Grove native takes pride in helping mold the next generation. Frequently visiting camps back in the day, Arik remembers being a young athlete, hoping to provide kids with another role model in football.
“I was a kid just like them. I used to go to camps just like this,” Armstead said. “And it inspired me to keep pushing. I’m a role model to these young people, and how I live my life and how I handle my career is something that they can look up to. And I don’t take that for granted.”
Click here to learn more about Arik Armstead & Armstead Academic Project.