Sunday afternoon Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett hosted his 5th annual O.C.E.A.N. health camp with 800 participants and coaches on hand at the University of Hawaii.
The party kicked off with a health expo and fitness clinic, and ended with a football camp for high school players.
Bennett and NFL stars DeForest Buckner (49ers defensive end), Arik Armstead (49ers defensive end), Samson Satele (former Colts center), Eli Harold (49ers linebacker), Ronald Blair (49ers defensive end), and Naziar Jones (Seahawks defensive tackle) spent time hands-on in numerous drills for the free clinic.
Though many were excited to learn under the tutelage of some of the world’s best athletes, Bennett made sure to use the day as a platform to promote community health through football.
“I think everything is about more than football,” Bennett said. “I think any time as an athlete you can be able to transcend sports. Everyone wants to talk to you about football, football, football. And to be able to talk to kids about life, school, community health is something that I really want to empower young athletes to use their platform for.”
While spending his offseasons in Hawaii, “Big Mike” has invested heavily into community service and charity work through his Bennett Foundation. As the foundation has grown, the message has crescendoed to match Bennett’s gregarious personality.
“If we just keep impacting in every fashion from the way our impact has grown in these camps to doing things on the daily.” Bennett added. “From in-school programs to community activities to collaborations to garden programs to even global things we do in Haiti and things that we’re doing in Africa right now. So it’s all about how much impact can we have, and my whole journey is to uncover how [selfless] can we be as human beings, and how much can we love our community. That’s my daily challenge for myself and my family is how much can we do and how much can we provide for our youth and just our communities in general. Whether it’s women, children, or minorities in different communities I try to express gratitude for what they’ve been through and what we’re trying to do for them.”
Buckner, a Waianae native and Punahou graduate, will be holding his own football camp at Waianae High School on July 20 before he leaves for 49ers training camp.
To get involved with the Bennett Foundation, click here.