Koda’s Kids Foundation: CSRA Kids Spotlight
CSRA Kids received free access to the three-day events, but opinions expressed in the article are honest and unbiased.
CSRA Kids had the privilege of attending Koda’s Kids Foundation 3-day weekend event this past week. The weekend consisted of a flag football game, a golf tournament, gala and a one-day football/cheerleading camp. All the events were well attended and Dekoda was able to raise money for his charity and donate to Harvest Food Bank!
The man behind it all, Dekoda Watson began his NFL career as a 7th round pick and was drafted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He currently plays for the San Francisco 49ers. But before the big lights, Dekoda was a local boy playing football at South Aiken High School. He never forgot his roots and continues to come back and serve his community and hometown. Three things come to mind when it comes to Dekoda: Big Guy, Big Smile, and a Big Heart. He took his time taking pictures with all the kids and kept reminding people who the weekend was really all about. At the gala, he described how building his foundation took hard work and securing local support to get it up off the ground. He has a passion to see young people engaged and active. He recently secured a partnership with Cabelas, an outdoor sports equipment store, “My hope is to get kids off the electronics and exploring the outdoors. I want them to learn how to build fires, camp and learn to hunt,” said Dekoda.
In addition to his partnership with Cabelas, Dekoda is teaming up with former Seattle Seahawks football player and commentator, Mike Robinson, to bring his program Team Excel to local schools in Aiken. The programs are designed to turn classroom success into a competition using a “reverse fantasy football” model. Students are placed on teams and compete based on their GPA, attendance and community service hours. Team Excel is currently operating in four schools and has over 200 students participating. “I don’t want everything to be all about football. Education is so key. A lot of students don’t play football and I want to provide different ways to reach students,” said Dekoda. His hope is to start the program in schools in Aiken and then be able to compete with other schools in the program.
If you are interested in learning more about Dekoda Watson and his foundation, Koda’s Kids, please visit www.kodaskids.org!