Rochester girl to compete in NFL competition in Twin Cities
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - A 12-year-old girl from Rochester will compete in the regional finals of the NFL'S Punt Pass & Kick competition this Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Alyssa Ustby, who describes herself as the "world's biggest Vikings fan," will also get to see her favorite team play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Alyssa won her age bracket at a sectional competition last month at Mayo High School in Rochester. If she wins her age bracket Saturday, she will represent the Vikings in the national finals against finalists representing the other 31 NFL franchises.
Local organizer Erik Karow said the program has grown in Rochester over the past five years. He said last month's sectional competition at Mayo High School brought in 150 of the top contestants from around the state.
"Sports has always been my passion and I remember doing this event when I was a kid," Karow told The Med City Beat. "Seeing the happiness on these kids' faces is a great feeling. Of course it's even better when someone local makes it to the big show!"
The NFL Punt, Pass & Kick is the oldest grassroots initiative in the league and one of the largest youth sports participation programs in the world. Kids ages 6 to 15 compete in five different age groups in a supportive, non-contact environment.
"This event is great because it gives kids a chance to compete with out the cost," said Karow. "The NFL Punt, Pass & Kick is a free event and gives kids an opportunity to compete where they might not be able to because of cost in a structured program."