Graceville, FL- The C.H.A.M.P. Camp at Graceville High School is in its first year, and organizer Anthony "Champ" Kelly, a Graceville alum, wants to give back more than just football knowledge during the two day event.
Champ Kelly graduated from Graceville High School, and the University of Kentucky. He's now the assistant director of pro personnel for the Denver Broncos, and he wants to take what he's learned and give back to the kids in his hometown.
"I've been granted this pedestal so to speak, because I work for the Denver Broncos." Kelly said. "And I want to use it to give back to these kids. I want to use football fundamentals to teach these guys life skills."
The goal of the C.H.A.M.P. Camp is to help develop character, heart, attitude, motivation and pride. He believes it will give these young men a set of values to use in their everyday lives.
"We want these guys to know they can reach any goal that they set. They just have to set the goal and work toward it, and I think our coaches are really stressing that at this camp."
Kelly is running the camp with the help of area high school coaches, as well as former teammates. They're determined to show the kids more than just X's and O's.
"What we do here is conditioning, not just condition the body but the mind." Graceville alum and camp coach Sacher Dickson said. "Preparing these kids for the real world outside of football, because it's not all about football. You know most of the teaching going on here is mostly about life skills"
More than a hundred kids showed up for the two day camp."It's going good." Graceville 9th grader Lamar Sorey said. "The coaches around here are really pushing hard even in the hot sun, we're going hard."
Northview senior Rashard Pearson added, "It's great, coming out here, being a better person, how they're stressing how to be a better person in life and everything. So, that's why I came out to this camp, so I could learn more stuff and be better."
Champ hopes these players are leaving with more knowledge about football and life, and he says he hopes to make this camp an annual event.