Dream Team Adapted Football Camp to kick off its first event

Published 5:13 pm Monday, June 27, 2022

By Hunter Cloud

Elizabethton Star

A new football camp aims to give children a chance to participate in the game, despite medical or physical challenges.

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The Dream Team Adapted Football Camp will kick off its first event on Oct. 1.

Jessica Lenden-Holt, senior director of clinical services at Sidekick Therapy Partners, said Sidekick and Witten Huddle are pairing up to host the camp. It is the first ever adapted football camp in the area, and one of a few she could find nationally.

“They will be able to work on social skills and learn more about football,” Lenden-Holt said. “A lot of them hadn’t had the chance to participate in football, so it is their first chance getting to play football. One of our campers got to go out on the field when it was all lit up at night. He said ‘it is like a dream.’”

The free camp will serve children who normally cannot play football due to medical conditions such as cardiovascular issues, cerebral palsy, autism, down syndrome, use of a wheelchair or other equipment.

Camp will be held at Elizabethton High School Citizens Bank Stadium where kids will have a chance to play under the lights and will last for two hours. Participants will be divided into two groups: fourth- through sixth-graders and high school. They will participate in different stations that include adapted football drills and game play.

“For a lot of these kiddos, they can’t participate on a sports team. This camp gives an atmosphere where they can achieve a goal through sports like football,” Lenden-Holt said. “We are excited to bring this experience here locally. It is an amazing experience and we hopefully can bring more awareness to adapted sports.”

Kids who register for the camp before Aug. 15 receive a free football jersey.

Sidekick and Witten Huddle are funding the bulk of the cost of the camp. Sponsorships are available to help with the cost of the camp, and more details are available at the camp’s Facebook page.

“For a lot of these kiddos, they can’t participate on a sports team. This camp gives an atmosphere where they can achieve a goal through sports like football,” Lenden-Holt said. “We are excited to bring this experience here locally. It is an amazing experience and we hopefully can bring more awareness to adapted sports.”

Volunteers are needed for the camp. Lenden-Holt said they would like to have a ratio of one camper for one volunteer. To volunteer visit https://forms.office.com/r/5rkTmWp9R5. To register for camp visit https://forms.office.com/r/XtcJiUHWE0.