U?s football clinic gives female fans an inside look

By By Paige Fieldsted

By Paige Fieldsted

The Utah football program is giving its female fans an opportunity to learn more about the sport they love.
The women’s football clinic, now in its 25th year, includes three two-hour sessions that focus on how the Utes get their team ready on both defense and offense.

“We think it is a great opportunity for our female fans to enjoy the game a little more,” said Jeff Rudy, director of football operations. “They enjoy the opportunity because a lot of people don’t get the same behind-the-scenes tour that the participants get.”
The sessions will be held Sept. 9, Sept. 23 and Oct. 21 from 6:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Center.

The first session will focus on what it takes to get the team ready. The strength and conditioning coaches will show a presentation, and head coach Whittingham will review the rules and different positions.

The second session is a crash course in defense and learning about what it takes to keep the team healthy, as taught by the team’s trainers.

The third session has an offensive emphasis; the women even get to try on the pads and football gear themselves.

In all three sessions, Whittingham will show game footage and answer questions the participants might have about what happens in the game regarding rules, plays or calls on the field.

The program used to include an on-field session in which coaches ran drills with almost 400 participants, but that part has been cut because it made the camp less personal and harder for the women to ask questions.

The actual drill session has been replaced by watching drill tapes, which makes the meeting easier to direct and easier for the participants to understand.
“We limit the clinic to about 100 people,” Rudy said. “We like it to be small. That way it is more informal and they can ask more questions.”

The clinics are open to girls and women of any age, but no boys or men are allowed.
“We have a large amount of female fans that are interested in football,” Rudy said. “It allows them to be able to enjoy the game and to carry on a conversation with their husbands or boyfriends. We give them this inside information that most people don’t know so they can shock (boyfriends and husbands) a little bit.”

Registration for the clinics is $40 and includes a T-shirt and refreshments at each session.