Let’s play some football

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Children’s Policy Council sponsoring youth football camp this Saturday

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

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It’s not often that young players get a chance to learn from athletes that play at the professional level.

They will have that opportunity this Saturday.

The Children’s Policy Council Economic Security Committee will be sponsoring a Summer Youth Football Camp at Memorial Stadium this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is open to children ages 7-14.

The camp is a joint effort between the committee and Ralph Williams, a former player for the Green Bay Packers.

“He has a program called ‘Vision of Youth,’ and we’re trying to get him to bring the program here,” said Debra Howard, co-chair of the committee.

Howard said Williams previously participated in the Selma Police PALS program’s “Police and Kids in the Park.”

“He’s been coming down here every month since October last year,” Howard said. “He spoke to C.H.A.T Academy, and he attended Selma High’s jamboree.”

Since hanging up his cleats and shoulder pads, Williams has gone on to become a motivational speaker. As part of his program, he owns five homes that shelter and help needy children.

Other camp instructors will be Brian Montgomery, David Pool, Bryon Ingram and Darren Anderson.

The camp, Howard said, is about more than just football. It brings with it a positive message and encouragement to the children to aspire to be something more than even they had imagined.

“At such a young age, we need to start talking to them and working with them on being a good person,” Howard said. “It’s not just sports that we’ll be teaching. A lot of football players do other things. They’re principals, they own youth houses and they come back to take care of their community. They preach to the kids, ‘You are somebody.'”

Parents can pre-register their children by picking up a form at the Parks and Recreation office located behind Memorial Stadium. Registration will also be held from 7 to 9 a.m. the day of the camp.

Howard encouraged parents to be involved and know what their children will be doing during the day.

“Some parents will bring their kids, drive off and keep riding,” Howard said. “We encourage pre-registration before the camp because they have to sign a waiver before the kids can get out on the field.”