Minneapolis High School Student-Athletes Receive Surprise Clinic With Vikings’ Legend John Randle

Updated on Aug 8, 2023

Vikings Foundation, Gatorade and Honest Game announce partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools to support student-athletes

MINNEAPOLIS (July 27, 2023) – More than 125 student-athletes from Minneapolis Public Schools participated in a special athletics program on Wednesday that signified the kick-off to a multi-organization partnership between Gatorade, Honest Game and the Vikings Foundation, with the collective goal of supporting and enhancing Minneapolis student-athletes’ access to college athletic opportunities.

Minneapolis students convene with Honest Game, Gatorade, and NFL legend John Randle.

The collaborative effort is championed by Gatorade’s Equity in Sports initiative, a multi-year commitment that is focused on ensuring every athlete has an equal opportunity to play sports and realize their potential. A key component of this program is the partnership with the Honest Game Foundation, a comprehensive operating system that helps schools and families navigate college athletic opportunities.

To kick-off the program, student-athletes from North and South High School (representing the football, volleyball, soccer and track & field programs) were taken through a special athletics training before being greeted by some surprise guests in the gym. Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Vikings defensive tackle John Randle was on-hand to surprise the student-athletes and provide valuable insights and tips for the student-athletes to better their fitness as well as what it takes to mentally prepare to become a collegiate and eventual professional athlete. Joining Randle from the Vikings Foundation was Tom West, director of player relations, who shared with the students what a meaningful career in the sports industry post-college can look like.

Tommy Adams, director of field intel & community impact at Gatorade was also present to motivate the young athletes and hand out coveted Gatorade swag bags, that contained everything from towels and water bottles to hats and hydration. The program concluded with a special address from Kim Michelson, the co-founder of Honest Game. Michelson shared with the student-athletes the importance of performance not only in competition, but also in the classroom. She shared how Honest Game will help more families and student-athletes chart a course to achieve their college dreams.

“Spending time today with these awesome student-athletes is the perfect example of the kind of programming and access that we want to provide to all young athletes around the country, always with the goal of creating more opportunities for equity and belonging in sport,” said Adams. “Having partners and programming like this helps to open many doors for student-athletes that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to enter, and we saw that firsthand here today in Minneapolis.”

Gatorade’s goal for Equity in Sports is to help millions of kids get into the game by helping to break down the barriers that young athletes face, through collaborations with leading social impact organizations, including Honest Game and now the Vikings as well as Minneapolis Public Schools. Since 2017, Gatorade has donated more than $3 million to organizations whose missions are to keep athletes in the game.

“We have the privilege of working with these talented student-athletes day in and day out, so we see and understand the depth of their potential,” said District Athletic Director Antony Fisher. “To know there are people and organizations out there like Gatorade, Honest Game and the Vikings Foundation that care as much about the success of our student-athletes as we do is encouraging, and I know the students felt that support in the room today.”

Athletic participation at Minneapolis Public Schools has held consistent participation levels over the last few years following the pandemic, and the district is being proactive about increasing those participation levels by providing access to athletic programming, offering role models to students as well as resources to help further motivate and guide student-athletes to that next level. Working with Honest Game is one way that the district is helping to proactively approach academic compliance at the collegiate level for MPS students, which is often less about GPAs and test scores and more about schools not having the correct core classes to make it possible for them to use sports as an entry point into college.

“Seeing the passion and dedication from these student-athletes here in Minneapolis is exactly why we started Honest Game. All of these students deserve a chance to play at the collegiate level, and academic eligibility issues should never stand in the way of that,” said Michelson. “We’ve seen firsthand how the lives of these students can change through post-secondary education opportunities once they clear these academic eligibility hurdles, and we can’t wait to make that same impact here in Minneapolis.”

For more information on Gatorade’s Fuel Tomorrow initiative and the many partners like Honest Game and the Minnesota Vikings Foundation that make it possible, please visit: https://www.gatorade.com/community