Archive for June, 2012


DARE to PLAY Football Camp Denver a Great Time for Campers and Coaches Alike

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

DARE to PLAY brings mainstream football fun to those who live outside the mainstream, the people with Down syndrome.

One of the saddest things for people with disabilities is they are not included in more mainstream fun. There's no way a Down syndrome kid will make a regular high school football team, but that doesn't mean they don't love the sport and want to play as much as anyone else. It's in the spirit of equality and helping those with disabilities have as rewarding of a life as anyone else that Ed McCaffrey puts on the DARE to PLAY football camp and cheer camps here in Highlands Ranch each year.

Speaking with a reporter for CBS after the DARE to PLAY game this past Saturday, Ed explained, “We weren’t sure what we were getting into year one, but I tell you what, the campers captured our hearts. It’s one of the most fun things I do all year long.”

Apparently his guest coaches, recently retired Denver Bronco Brian Dawkins and Jack Del Rio, the Broncos current defensive coordinator, agreed!

“Today is all about having these young people who are maybe disadvantaged in some ways; have them come out and be a part of it — just compete and have fun,” Del Rio said. He is no stranger to helping out disadvantaged kids, having started the Jack Del Rio Foundation to help out needy kids in north eastern Florida.

“When you step out on that field and start running around, it’s not about disabilities … it’s about having a good time,” Dawkins added.

Sports Eddy youth football camps Denver has a long list of people we'd like to thank for this wonderful event.

~  Let's start with all the spectators who cheered our campers on, and made them feel special! As our celebrity coaches can tell you, there's nothing quite like the roar of the crowd after you've made that great play... Heartfelt thanks for turning out on that hot, hot, Saturday to support the game. You guys are the coolest!

~  One of the highlights of the afternoon was the half-time show including the Denver Broncos cheerleaders with their students -- the Down syndrome cheer camp participants. Thanks ladies! Your talent and giving spirit is much appreciated.

~  Thanks to Global Down Syndrome, without whom none of this would be possible. Thanks for all you do! Check this organization out here.

~ Thanks again to Brian Dawkins and Jack Del Rio for their time, their talent and their passion to help others.

~ Thanks to former Bronco David Treadwell, Broncos mascot Miles, and all the skydivers, tumblers and more than 50 players and coaches from Valor Christian High School, Colorado's state champs three years running.

~ And last but not least, thanks to our own Eddy Mac, who was overheard saying, “Obviously I’m biased but I think football is the greatest team sport in the world. ...people from all different walks of life come together and work hard with each other towards a common goal.”

And that's what it's all about, isn't it!

Please read the entire CBS Denver article here. It has a terrific video attached. And please read  the Denver Post article here. We want to thank them as well for helping us publicize this annual event that adds so much to these campers' lives.



Still Time to Sign-Up for 11th Annual Ed McCaffrey Youth Football Camps Colorado

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

There's still time to register for the 11th annual Ed McCaffrey Colorado youth football camps -- but not much! Camp starts June 25th and runs till the 28th. We've got a few spaces left in the "open camp", which is great for kids 8 - 15, including newbies to the great sport of football! And there is still time to get into the Eddy Mac "elite" football camp,  for kids 10 - 15, but this camp focuses on a particular position, and is better suited to kids with a couple of years experience in the sport.

Sports Eddy director Ed McCaffrey will be on hand lending his expertise and experience as coach, but that's not all! Just as every year, we've got some terrific guest coaches and top NFL athletes on hand to talk to all our campers about the important stuff... not just the game of football, but how to win the game of life as well.

We have it on good authority that NFL wide receiver and current Denver Bronco ERIC DECKER will be on hand the first day of camp, so we are pretty excited about that. Eric helped out with our camps last year as well, to rave reviews from our campers. (By the way, parents, you are always welcome to watch from the stands, but please remember -- all of our celebrity coaches are here to work! We know you're all big fans, but please let's keep our kids as the focus.)

We've also got former NFL linebacker Chad Brown coaching, giving out great strategy, tips and invaluable advice from his fifteen year NFL career.  If defense is your thing, and you'd like a longer, more intensive dose of the Chad, check out our upcoming Chad Brown Defense Clinic featuring pro trainer Loren Landow, on July 13 -15th.

Also on our coaching staff for this season:

~  Matt McChesney, the former NFL guard who's played for the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and of course, our own Denver Broncos.

~  Justin Armour, ex NFL wide receiver who also played with the Buffalo BillsDenver Broncos, and Baltimore Ravens. Justin is currently head coach at Manitou Springs High School and they are lucky to have this multi-talented athlete, who received  scholarships to Stanford U. for both football and basketball!!

~  Kyle Johnson, former Bronco's fullback and currently a free agent!

Now, we don't mean to be a tease, but we've got some special guest athletes, also great NFL pros, coming down to talk to our youth football campers! Every year we have as many pro football players as possible come down and give talks to our kids, telling them about their careers and all the important lessons they've learned through football.

Click here to sign up for the OPEN Football Camp!

Click here to sign up for the ELITE Football Camp!

Click here for more information!

Click here to see the camp FAQs.

So if you're hoping to get a spot in the 2012 Ed McCaffrey Youth Football Camps, Colorado, please don't wait any longer. Sign up today for the most fun, most exciting and most effective football camps in Colorado!




DARE to PLAY Football CAMP, June 23, Featuring Brian Dawkins and Jack Del Rio

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

photo courtesy of wikipedia

We're delighted to tell you all about the Denver DARE to PLAY football camps happening June 22-23. Presented again by Global Down Syndrome and SportsEddy, this two day camp for Down syndrome players will take place at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, CO. As with all our DARE to PLAY camps, the first day will consist of our campers learning the fundamentals of the game, as well as running drills and of course, having a great time. The second day, the players will square off against each other in two teams for an exciting scrimmage game, complete with a professional announcer and a celebration after party.

Our celebrity coaches, Brian Dawkins and Jack Del Rio, along with our own Ed McCaffrey, will be on hand to make sure these players get the full benefit of their coaches talent and experience, and have an experience they'll never forget. This is Ed's third year coaching DARE to PLAY and he's deeply committed to the project, as well as the work of Global Down Syndrome, a Colorado non-profit.

We're excited to welcome the wildly popular NFL safety Brian Dawkins of Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos fame, who probably broke fans' hearts when he announced his retirement from the sport on April 23 of this year. A  Pro Bowl selection no less than nine times, Brian will be eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame by 2017 and we'd be very surprised if he doesn't get in!!

Brian, thanks for giving your time to play with our Down syndrome players! Judging by the feedback we got from Mike Shanahan and Brian Billick, our DARE to PLAY celebrity coaches in Annapolis, we suspect you will have as much fun out there as the campers will.

photo courtesy of wikipedia

Next up, we're also thrilled to have  Jack Del Rio, the former NFL linebacker and highly respected Broncos defensive coordinator. Jack is no stranger to philanthropic and charity work, having founded the Jack Del Rio Foundation to help needy children in the Jacksonville, FLA area.

Jack, a big shout out to you as well -- thanks for your commitment to the game, to helping children in need, and giving up your time for our campers. We'll be looking for you after the game to find out your experience!

The DARE to CHEER camp will be happening on the same weekend, coached by the fabulous Denver Bronco Cheerleaders, and our Down syndrome cheerleaders will perform at half time of the big game.

We're hoping to pack the stands at Valor Christian High with cheering spectators, to give our campers the feeling of playing in a real, "pro" game like the ones they love to watch on t.v., so if you live in the area and want to come on down -- we'd love to have you there. The game at 11a.m. and the festivities afterward are free to the community!










DARE to PLAY Football Camp a Rousing Success in Annapolis

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

The DARE to PLAY football camp last week in Annapolis went off without a hitch last weekend. Guest head coaches Mike Shanahan and Brian Billick turned out in rare form to coach our players, whose ages ranged from under 15 to over 30. Global Down Syndrome, the local Colorado organizaton which sponsors this event, was thrilled with both the event itself and the coverage it received in the news.

Various sites reported the camp, including the prestigious Washington Post which had two videos of the game itself, along with the celebrity coaches in action, in their online article. also had a wonderful and heartwarming account of not just the DARE to PLAY football camp but the Cheer camp which took place on the same weekend. Check it out here.

On the first day of the two-day camp, players  learned fundamental skills,  but on the second day, they played a scrimmage game with cheering fans in the stands, their celebrity coaches, a professional announcer, and of course,  the cheer camp participants got to perform at half-time.

We were curious to hear what Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan would have to say about his participation in the event after it was over; after all, he was coaching a very different type of player than the pros he's used to.

Said Shanahan, “I just enjoyed being a part of it. It’s a chance to go out there and have some fun. It’s a lot more rewarding for me than it is for them because they thoroughly enjoy themselves. They kinda recognize your face, you know, obviously from the Skins, and so I think they have a little bit more fun when they can talk to them on a personal basis.”

Sports Eddy football camps founder and CEO Ed McCaffrey was excited to bring this event to Annapolis for the first time.

And Billick, former coach of the Baltimore Ravens and currently a Fox analyst, said he hoped it would become an annual event.

“This is the first time I’ve been a part of this, and I plan on doing it going forward,” said Billick. “Hopefully we can build this event to a larger event here in Annapolis.”

Giving a blow-by-blow of the action was  Chris Russell from ESPN 980 AM. This is an event and a cause dear to his heart, as his 10-year-old son Tyler has Down syndrome. Not content to sit in the box like any old announcer, Russell roamed the field at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, mike in hand. A shout out to you Chris for helping us out!

We also want to thank the twenty Navy football players who got involved to help out the campers. And just like in a professional game, a video crew was on hand to get the highlights, which were then played on  the end zone scoreboards.

From all accounts, everyone from volunteers, to celebs, and most important the players themselves, had a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience.

Now we're gearing up for the Ed McCaffrey DARE to PLAY football and cheer camp coming right up on June 22-23 here in Highlands Ranch. Stay tuned for more information...