RICHMOND, Va. — The Washington Football Team's (WFT) training camp will look a bit different this year as the franchise partners with health organizations to promote COVID-19 vaccinations and prevention strategies.
Alongside the Virginia Department of Health (VDOH) and COVIDWISE, the commonwealth's free COVID-19 exposure notifications app, the WFT will host numerous interactive events and educational resources for fans attending the camp, including a training day with WFT alumni for frontline healthcare workers and a three-day mobile vaccination site.
“We are pleased to work with the Washington Football Team to help ensure that Training Camp is a fun, safe, and educational environment for everyone in attendance,” said Dr. Norman Oliver, the state health commissioner. "With our mobile vaccination site set up all week at training camp, this is another wonderful opportunity for anyone who is able to get vaccinated to do so. Your best protection from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated."
The health campaign comes just a little over a week after the Associated Press reported that WFT was one of two NFL teams with the lowest vaccination rates among players. According to the AP, the team reached its 50% vaccination rate benchmark in mid-July, whereas most teams had hit the mark by June.
From July 28 to July 31, WFT fans who are not already vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will have the opportunity to do so at the camp's mobile vaccination clinic, and be entered into a promotional giveaway. Those who choose to get vaccinated at the site will have their names entered into a raffle for a chance to win two free tickets and parking passes to this year's opening game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Two days of the camp will also be dedicated to celebrating frontline healthcare workers.
On July 27, the team will welcome approximately 100 healthcare professionals to compete against WFT alumni by performing in the same athletic tests that NFL prospects complete before being drafted. Participants will see how they compare to current players in a 40-yard dash, a 20-yard shuttle, a cone drill, a high jump and a long jump.
On July 28, another 100 healthcare workers will receive a "VIP experience" during the first morning practice of the camp, as noted in a press release. Additionally, any spectator who shows proof that they are registered healthcare professional will receive a 20% discount at the team store.
WFT training camp practice sessions are open to the public free of charge. Gates remain open each day at the following times:
- Wednesday, July 28 Gates open 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Thursday, July 29 Gates open 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Friday, July 30 Gates open 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Saturday, July 31 Gates open 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
To check availability for free passes, visit this link.