An annual event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Jared Veldheer Football Camp for students in grades 5 through 8 raises money for the Metro Health Foundation “Keeping the Beat” program. This summer, the camp took place at Grand Rapids Christian High School, hosting over 80 young campers. Following tradition, the IBOAI sponsors the football camp to offer kids the opportunity to get tips and advice from a real pro, to inform kids and parents on sports injuries and heart screens, and to benefit Metro Health's program that provides free heart screens for local students.
As in years past, this fun, action-packed summer evening on June 27 featured a sports clinic for kids with NFL football pro, Jared Veldheer - #68 Tackle of the Arizona Cardinals, Hillsdale Two-time All American, and Forest Hills Northern alumnus. Pro player Cam White, a Grand Rapids native and Hillsdale All American H-back and alumnus, joined Jared as a coach for the evening.
Following registration, campers played catch, stretched, and did calisthenics together. They then broke into several group stations for coaching on tackling form, blocking, running, and catching. Throughout the evening, Jared and Cam engaged with campers on and off the field.
Cam White spoke to with campers about keeping a positive attitude and setting goals in life. He shared his own story of suffering a serious knee injury and the perseverance and hard work it took him to regain his strength and agility. He did not give up and it paid off - as a result, he signed with the Indianapolis Colts, a NFL team. Cam also stressed the importance of hard work in the classroom as well as in sports.
During the breaks, the young athletes refueled with refreshing Perfect Empowered Drinking Water™ and XS™ Sports Nutrition Bars, compliments of the IBOAI®.
Dr. Edwin T. Kornoelje, a family practice and sports medicine specialist affiliated with Metro Health, spoke about concussions as well as the free student heart screening program for local students ages 12 to 18 years. Dr. Kornoelje advised the kids to let their coach or parents know if they may have suffered a concussion - it is something that should be brought to their attention and checked out by a medical professional.
The evening closed with campers participating in an invigorating game of Air Force football followed by special treats - summer-perfect ice cream and popsicles plus the opportunity for an individual photo with Jared Veldheer. The photo opp and the snacks were equally popular!