FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky - Andre Roberts, wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, came to teach Fort Campbell children, not only football skills, but the importance of hard work, during his Procter and Gamble Andre Roberts Football ProCamp, here July 15-16.
This is the second time Fort Campbell has hosted the ProCamp, an opportunity made possible by the base commissary's participation in a P&G display contest, from which it was selected among 11 communities to hold the two-day event.
According to a Defense Commissary Agency press release, "Our communities, especially the children, benefit from our partnership with industry that brings these football stars to their installations," said Sallie Cauthers, DeCA's marketing and mass media specialist. "At the same time, our commissary patrons save significantly on quality products versus what they'd have to pay outside the gate."
More than 100 children, dependents of active duty service members, retirees, and Department of Defense civilian employees, participated in the ProCamp. The campers were divided into three divisions for different ages; the Vikings, Bulldogs and the Falcons. Campers received hands-on instructions, motivational talks, and participated in skill stations such as offense and defense drills, quarterback drills, and how to run lanes. At the culmination of each day the campers played non-contact football games to determine a division champion by the end of camp.
"Just work hard no matter what, if you get tired it doesn't matter," said Roberts. "Just make sure you're working hard and having fun."
The campers had the opportunity to have Roberts help them with various drills and received autographed memorabilia. They were also able to ask Roberts questions about his football journey. Most of the campers wanted to know how Roberts became so good in high school.
"First and foremost you have to get good grades," said Roberts. "Make sure when you go to school, you listen to your teachers and get those good grades. It doesn't matter if you want to play football or not," said Roberts. "If you want to do anything in life, you have to work hard and that begins in school getting good grades."
Bill Conley, the Master of Ceremonies for the ProCamp, gave praise to the answers given by Roberts, reaffirming the importance of hard work and effort.
"As a player, you have to be a guy that is an inspiration to those under you," said Conley, "Learn from others and carry on that tradition."
When speaking to the campers, Roberts mentioned the fact that when he was younger he did not play football due to his mother being worried about him getting hurt. He used this opportunity to express the advantage of playing other sports.
"When I was kid I played baseball, soccer, and I played basketball, and basketball was my passion," said Roberts. "That's a good thing for you guys to do, too; don't just focus on one sport. Soccer can help you with footwork, baseball will help you with hand and eye coordination, and things like that will help you with football."
At the culmination of the camp, Roberts gave the campers some words of encouragement, and a backstory of what it was like growing up in a military family.
Roberts shared with the campers that he too was born into a military family and both his parents served in the Army. He told them he moved around a lot, living in Alaska, Texas, Columbia; twice; and St. Croix.
"I know everything you guys may be going through right now and may have to go through as kids, "said Roberts. "I'm here to let you know that anything you want to do is possible, doesn't matter where you come from or what walk of life you come from, anything you want to do is possible, but the only way you get there is putting in the effort."
"I saw a lot of effort out there, a lot of hustle, a lot of kids having fun and that's what you have to do each and every day when it comes to football and when it comes to school, said Roberts. "Everybody out here, learn from today, no matter what you want to be, you have to put in the effort."
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