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Monday, May 2, 2016

Students get kick out of Colts camp

Friday, May 8, 2009

Timmy Pauley had his football face on while catching the ball during the Colts Camp at Central Elementary School Friday morning.
The excited screams on the hill behind Central Elementary were loud enough to be a varsity football game. In fact, the noise was coming from Central Elementary second to sixth grade students who were taking part in a special Indianapolis Colts Big Blue Football Camp for kids.

From 9 to 10:30 a.m. most of the students worked their way through five stations set to teach them some of the skills needed not only to play football but to stay active and fit.

"Kids have a blast at this camp. They get out and are active. We teach some life lessons and this makes it fun," said Mike Prior who runs the camps.

About forty schools are chosen each year to have the camp visit. An application has to be sent and the schools are chosen on a first come, first serve basis.

"We started out with eight camps the first year but we're up to 40 now," said Prior.

The camp idea came to South Putnam Physical Education teacher Sue Pitts from a former student's wife who works for the NCAA and knew about the camp program.

Pitts got together with Assistant Principal Debbie Steffey and submitted an application for Central to have a camp. Steffey coordinated the details for the camp including arranging a make up day after rain prevented the camp from taking place.

That also included recruiting lots of volunteers to help with the camp. Parents, teachers, and various staff members were up on the hill behind the school encouraging and supporting kids. Even High School Athletic Trainer Valerie Rayce was pitching in along with Dr. Anthony Heavin and PTO president Beverly Hughes.

"Not only do the kids come out here and work together but so do all the volunteers," said Pitts.

Big Blue Football Camps (BBFC) provides an opportunity for elementary age boys and girls to experience the game of football in a recreational setting.

In 2004, the Indianapolis Colts and Gatorade launched the inaugural season of BBFC throughout the Indianapolis area. These free youth football clinics were a grassroots effort by the Colts to promote the game of football by featuring educational and recreational activities in a safe and fun environment.

"We did eight camps that first year," said Prior. "Today, more than 2,700 kids participate in this program.

This year, the Colts, Gatorade & the Central Indiana Chevy dealers partnered to host approximately 18 BBFC's during the spring and 18 during the fall. Throughout these camps, the Colts plan to reach more than 10,000 elementary students with life lessons..

All students participating must have a waiver signed by their parents to attend.

Information about the Big Blue Football Camps can be found on the Indianapolis Colts Web site at www.colts.com.

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