June 26, 2012

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

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.



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