Cumberland University played host this week to the first NFL Youth Football Camp held by Music With A Purpose.
The camp was open to anyone in third- through eighth-grades and led by former NFL quarterback Kelly Holcomb. Proceeds of the camp went to the Wilson County Civic League, which received nearly $1,000 from the camp.
The camp included three days of drills and scrimmages, as well as providing lunch and a devotional each day. Holcomb said one goal of the camp was to teach the children the specifics of football, such as positions and how to run routes while keeping it fun and interesting for them.
Holcomb also said some coaches worked with teaching the older children specifics while others taught the younger children the fundamentals of the sport.
“We had a great team of former players who worked this camp and taught each child more than the X’s and O’s of the game; they taught these children life lessons about working hard and overcoming obstacles,” said Jeremy Hayes, president of Music With A Purpose.
Coaches had a devotional time with the children at the end of each day to discuss lessons and obstacles they have encountered as well as facing them in the future.
Holcomb said about 50 kids signed up for the camp this year, which he said is a reasonable turnout for the camp’s first year.
“Camps like these, you’ve usually got to be around for three or four years and do it well so that people want to come back every year,” Holcomb said when asked about the attendance. “This year, we had a really good mix; we had a few older kids who really wanted to learn the specifics, and we had a few young kids who just wanted to have fun.”
Hayes thanked the families of those who attended for bringing their children to the camp to learn important lessons.
“The most important lesson of this camp is that athletics is an avenue to help children learn discipline, but the most important thing in life is to love God, their family, and focus on their academics.”
Hayes also thanked Dr. Aaron Pryor of Pryor Family Dentistry for providing payment for the camp for 20 children who could not have otherwise attended.
Holcomb and Hayes hope to continue the camp in future years and reach more children and families in the area.