Paul’s Pals and Super Fest featured in Eden Prairie News

February 7, 2018

Inclusive Super Fest scrimmage and clinic is super

By Daniel Huss

On Sunday, an estimated 100 million viewers tuned in to watch an exclusive football game that featured some of the best football players on the planet.

A day earlier, a Super Bowl adjacent event held inside the Eden Prairie High School PrairieDome catered to a special group of players playing an inclusive game of football.

Billed Super Fest, Saturday’s event was an opportunity for youth of all abilities to participate together in an authentic football and cheerleading clinic. Sponsors included The Matthew Foundation, Autism Society of Minnesota, Fraser, Gillette Childrens, Minnesota Vikings, Miracle League and Paul’s Pals.

“A truly inclusive Super Bowl event,” gushed Jennifer Lewin, executive director of Paul’s Pals, a Minnetonka-based inclusive play advocacy group; “it was amazing.”

Now in its third year, the event travels to Super Bowl host sites.

“We registered 170 kids,” said Lewin, “and had close to 75 volunteers.”

The event was tailored for participants 8-28 years old.

Eden Prairie’s Jack Fredericks loved the experience, for lots of reasons.

“It was in Eden Prairie,” he said, “and I got to be with my sister.”

Fredericks, who loves all things football, had never played football.

“I really liked the passing and kicking,” he said.

When the conversation turned toward the professional game, Fredericks mentioned meeting the Spielmans, brothers Rick and Chris.

When asked how he knows Chris Spielman, Fredericks, without hesitation, said Chris is Rick’s brother and that he was the announcer for two Minnesota Vikings games last season.

He knows Rick Spielman as the architect (general manager) of his favorite team.

His parents said Fredericks watches every Minnesota Vikings game on television.

“He has us tape all the pregame shows,” said Deb Fredericks. “That way, he can go back and re-watch everything.”

Cheerleading

A cheerleading clinic drew the non-football playing crowd, and it was crowded.

Clinic leaders included cheer team members from the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings. Members from the Edina High School cheer team were also in the instruction line, helping with a cheer that would be performed, for a first time, at the scrimmage that capped the day’s activities.

And yes, it’s a good bet that cheerleading was new to most of the new cheerleaders.

View the full article from Eden Prairie News here.