The "Make The Right Call" NFL sports camp slated for the Whitehaven High School football field on Saturday (May 17th) is designed to be more than just the usual punt, pass and kick event.
That's according to the organizer, Gene Robertson III, who envisions that as the case both for the pro athletes giving their time to the event and the kids and parents planning to attend.
The camp is free to boys and girls ages 10-14 years of age. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with on-field drills in fundamentals, specific position techniques and healthy toning techniques all on the teaching agenda. A free lunch will be offered, coupled with a mentoring symposium crafted to expand the childrens' minds about the possibilities sports can bring.
The roster of NFL players confirmed for attendance include the Tennessee Titans' Zach Brown, along with Darren Bates (St. Louis Rams), Marlon Brown (Baltimore Ravens), Bruce Carter (Dallas Cowboys) and Dwayne Harris (Dallas Cowboys).
"My company, Genetic Sports Marketing and Events, specializes in creating community service events that are designed to grow our clients' potential marketing base by creating events that have real value for the community," says Robertson.
With the camp now in its second year, Robertson says his experience as a student athlete at Whitehaven was the inspiration. After earning several scholarship offers, he chose to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with a degree in exercise and sports science.
"My guidance counselor Ms. (Georgia) Barry and Coach (Rodney) Saulsberry made sure I was on top of my books even more so than my responsibilities on the field. And not just me, that's how we rolled at Whitehaven," said Robertson. "We were always taught to aim high, which means a pro career, but to make sure we do our best to let our interest in sports open up other doors for us. That's what I want these kids to learn. Apply yourself, dream big, but get the education opportunities being good in sports can bring.
"Don't just go to college as a sightseeing trip. Set sights and achieve them and you can afford to plan for life," he said. "Concentrating on sports has been a tremendous benefit for me, and the guys I know in the sport want to share their success with the community."
An important part of the weekend schedule will be the Concussion Awareness Luncheon on Friday (May 16th) at the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Community Room. Sponsored by State Rep. G.A. Hardaway, Robertson is inviting parents and coaches involved in Little League football to attend.
Supported by the experts from the hospital staff that will be speaking at the luncheon, Hardaway is studying the affects of concussions in young children, with the potential intent of crafting legislation to address the matter.