Surrey-raised NFL player Christian Covington at the football skills camp he hosted Saturday (June 30) at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

VIDEO: Surrey-raised Covington and fellow NFLers teach kids football skills

Camp attracted a few hundred kids to stadium in Langley on Saturday

Surrey-raised NFL pro Christian Covington arrived “home” last weekend to teach young players the finer points of football.

On Saturday morning (June 30), the 24-year-old defensive end for Houston Texans welcomed a couple hundred kids to a second annual skills camp he hosted at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley.

Guest instructors included fellow NFLers Whitney Mercilus (OLB, Houston Texans), Brennan Scarlett (OLB, Houston), Jake Matthews (OT, Atlanta Falcons), Mike Matthews (OL, Miami Dolphins) and Jennifer Welter, the NFL’s first female coach.

“We have a bunch of great kids out here, and we’re trying to bring a little taste of the NFL to Canada,” Covington said as boys and girls performed a variety of football-related drills while wearing T-shirts given to them at the gate.

(STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO)

Registration was free, and the camp, held in partnership with NFL Canada, sold out in advance.

“This is everything I could have ever dreamed of growing up,” Covington added.

“For me, I was never able to go to camps like this and be around, you know, professional athletes, like, all the time, at football camps like this, so I grew up wanting to be a professional athlete with the intent in mind to, when I go back home, I want to put on events for kids and give back to the community. So this is me just, you know, saying thank-you and giving a little treat to the Canadian youth.”

Covington, son of CFL Hall of Fame defensive end Grover Covington, grew up in the Sullivan Heights area of Surrey, where his family held a party the day he was drafted in May of 2015. He was selected by the Texans in the sixth round.

• RELATED STORY: Covington claimed by the Houston Texans, from 2015.

“I was born in Vancouver, lived in Richmond, lived in North Delta, and eventually made it out to South Surrey — a great place to grow up, but I’m a little biased being a Vancouver College Fighting Irish,” he said with a smile. “At the end of the day, that’s my childhood home (in Surrey) and me and my sisters grew up in that home for many years, and nothing but great memories.”

• RELATED STORY: NFL player with Surrey connection set to chase Brady and Patriots, from 2017.

In his NFL career, Covington has recorded 50 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble.

Last season, the former Rice Owl tore a bicep and was unable to continue playing past Week 8.

“I’m 100 per cent – been a 100 per cent since January, so I’m itching to go, and training camp’s coming up and I can’t wait to hit some people,” Covington said.

“We’ll be spending two weeks in West Virginia, at The Greenbrier, so I’m looking forward to it — get out of the Texas heat for a little bit.”

The Texans were a banged-up bunch last season, and the list of injured players included all-star defensive end J.J. Watt.

“I’m just looking forward to everybody being healthy, that’s my main thing,” Covington said. “We were devastated by a lot of injuries last year, and really that’s the key word for the upcoming season — once everybody’s healthy, just getting back on that field and doing what we know we can do.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Keen eye for detail key for North Delta artist

Photographer Murray Klassen’s work will be on public display at MLA Ravi Kahlon’s office all summer

Purpose-built rental building under construction in White Rock

The four-storey, 28-unit facility is to be complete by late next year

James Good named Surrey’s Citizen of the Year

Resident has been volunteering since 1988

‘First ever’ Pride Picnic coming to Delta this August

Organizer Kutrina Mosch believes this may be the first Pride event ever held in Delta

Some Surrey roads will be closed to traffic during Miri Piri parade on July 28

Closures in effect 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until RCMP determines the roads are safe to be reopened

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

BC toddler with ‘allergy’ to sun waiting for bone marrow transplant

Charlie Lock, 2, needs treatment for damage caused by rare disorder EPP

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

Most Read