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Annual Champ Camp set for this week

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 5:51 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -It is just about time for area youth to get the chance to shine at another “Champ Camp”. That’s a youth football camp set for Friday and Saturday at Chapman Field/Tommy Oliver Stadium. Certainly this is the time of year when the calendar has plenty of camps to choose from. This one just a little bit different for kids in our area because it was started, and run by one of this area’s own. Campbellton native and Graceville High alum Anthony “Champ” Kelly, who went to play at Kentucky. And is now the Las Vegas Raiders assistant General Manager. I spoke with Champ about this week’s camp, and it’s genesis!

“It’s been awhile now.” Champ told me. “We started it in 2010 and our first camp was actually at Graceville, at my high school. So we’ve been going strong for awhile. And we’ve extended to some other states, some other locations. You know we’ve seen tens of thousands of kids in all these years. You know we ultimately started to be positive and encouraging influences to the youth and their families who are in search of that type of thing.”

Kelly says this camp is designed for kids who’s parents may not have a lot of money to spend on summer camps. Much like Anthony’s situation growing up in Cambellton. And it’s designed to go well beyond the football side of things. The mission is to dole out the football instruction with some life lessons as well.

“You know to be able to provide a tangible example of what you could be, or what you could do if just put in the work. If you just sacrifice, if you were disciplined. If you wanted to be more. If you have a burning or a yearning inside of you to be better, we want to provide and present an opportunity for some of these kids to get a chance to accomplish that.”

All this for boys and girls 8-18. They ask you to pre-register you kids, and even though the flier said a $25 dollar fee for sign ups after June First, Champ says they’re waiving that fee, so it’s now free to all comers. Again Friday and Saturday at Tommy Oliver starting at 8:30. For more information click on https://heartpowerinc.org/events/champ-camp/

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