View Full Version : Players give back with camps

06-15-2010, 12:40 AM
Players give back with camps

By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com
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Linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Keyaron Fox, tackle Max Starks and cornerback Anthony Madison are giving back to kids in their communities by hosting football camps in their hometowns.

Woodley hosted the 3rd Annual LaMarr Woodley Football Camp on Saturday, June 12 in Saginaw, Michigan.

The free camp, which was open to kids 8-15, combined football and teamwork skills while developing self-esteem both on and off the field.

“I love working with kids,” said Woodley. “It’s fun being around them with all of the excitement. Being an NFL player and coming back and do those things is fun. It’s just something I like to do.”

Woodley holds the camp at Saginaw High School in an effort to give back to the community where his football days began.

“This community means a lot to me and I will always support it,” said Woodley. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for all of the community members who have helped me along the way. I really strive to give back to Saginaw as much as possible, and I’m really happy to be able to bring back this camp again for its third year.”

Starks is hosting the Max Starks Youth Football Camp on June 18-19 in Orlando, Florida.

“I have been given a lot of opportunities and it’s time for me to return that favor,” said Starks. “Back in Orlando we don’t have a football team and the kids there are great football players. I am a product of that environment and so if I can do anything to help foster that and help more kids gain exposure I am going to.”

The free camp, which is being held at Lake Highland Preparatory School, is open to kids ages 7-18. Starks will also host a golf outing to benefit the Max Starks Fund, which is working on building a learning annex and computer center in the neighborhood where he grew up.

“I have been blessed with great opportunities and I want to repay that favor to those children and let them know somebody does care,” said Starks.

For more information, visit http://www.maxstarks.com.

Fox is hosting the Will of Steel Weekend on June 19 which included a football camp, dance camp and adult aerobic boot camp through the Keyaron Fox Foundation. The camp is being held at Welcome All Park in College Park, Georgia. For more information visit http://www.keyaronfoxfoundation.org.

Madison is hosting his first football camp in Thomasville, Alabama on July 10, open to kids in his hometown and neighboring communities.

“It’s just giving back, finally having the opportunity to do so,” said Madison. “We have a lot of kids in the community that deserve to have someone to look up to. It’s for kids to come out and enjoy themselves. I want to teach them the importance of work, education, work ethic, faith, the things that helped me get where I am now.”

Youth football was big in Madison’s hometown as he grew up, and continues to thrive, but this is the first time that an NFL player is bringing a camp to the area. And while football is the main focus, the camp will also teach other important life lessons.

“Football is the drawing power,” said Madison. “It’s what the kids will see. At the same time we get them there and give them an opportunity to listen to what people have to say.

“It’s a blessing for me. I came in as an undrafted free agent. Every year it’s a battle. To be here, going into my fifth year, faith and hard work and the right people to believe in help you go a long way. That is what I want to instill in these kids.”

06-16-2010, 08:55 PM
Steelers a big hit in Mexico

By Bob Labriola - Steelers.com


Mike Wallace said it all. And he did it in Spanish.

“Los fans mexicanos, increíbles”

It indeed was incredible, the reception that the Steelers received during a one-day football camp in Mexico City last weekend that was attended by more than 500 kids who came to learn some of the basics of the sport from Wallace, Ziggy Hood, Keenan Lewis and Daniel Sepulveda.

The Steelers are incredibly popular throughout Mexico, and the first-ever such clinic conducted by an NFL team in that country prompted a visit from Margarita Zavala, the wife of Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

“I had a chance to speak briefly to the First Lady,” said Hood. “Whenever you can meet someone of that stature, it was an incredible experience. And what she did was she traveled all the way from South Africa, where she had been watching Mexico in the World Cup – I don’t know – maybe 15, 16 hours in the air and then an hour’s drive from the airport to where we were having the clinic. That’s just amazing. She did all of that to visit with us for maybe 10 minutes. That was an honor all by itself.”

The Steelers players may have been honored with the treatment they received, but the crowd was thrilled by an appearance of a group of players from their favorite American football team. In addition to the 500 kids who took part in the actual clinic, Hood estimated there were another 1,000-plus people there who came to watch, take pictures and wait for a chance to interact with the Steelers.

“It seemed like half of the city was there,” said Hood. “There were a bunch of kids who were all eager to learn different things about football, and then they had all of their parents there cheering them on. It was like a big festival.”

“I thought it was going to be some type of a barrier in trying to talk to the kids, but it seemed as though everybody understood what I was saying,” said Hood. “If not, they did their best to try to mimic the person in front of them in line and do what they just saw him do, in terms of the drill. I didn’t have too much problem with the language, because most of the kids knew English pretty well.”

They also knew a good bit about the sport they had come to be taught.

“It was different than some of the other clinics I’ve done, because we were in a different country, a country where their primary sport is soccer,” said Hood. “But they also knew some things about football, because they had a high school football team. It was amazing to me how much they knew about American football, and then how much fun they were having. A bunch of them came wearing football gloves and cleats.”

And above all, those who attended, whether participating or not, knew their Steelers.

“Right now, I don’t have any type of reputation around the league, because I haven’t done anything, but for them to know who I am, what school I came from, all that was big to me,” said Hood. “I really appreciated that.”

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