There is no shortage of football camps this Summer in the state of Florida, but very few come to the Panhandle area with an emphasis on playing at the next level. Players from this part of the state usually have to travel to a regional college campus in order to have a chance to learn footballs’ more advance techniques from coaches on the collegiate and pro levels. Former Graceville football star, Anthony “Champ” Kelly, decided he was going change that. Now in its fourth year, the annual C.H.A.M.P. Camp is quickly becoming one of the biggest events in the state.
Not just a nickname – Character, Heart, Attitude, Motivation and Pride are the words that form the acronym C.H.A.M.P. in Kelly’s summer event. Anthony “Champ” Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Graceville High School and a former University of Kentucky football player (1998-2001). Currently he is the assistant director of Pro Personnel and the founder, along with his wife Stephanie, of Heart Power Inc, a youth ministry and mentorship program. With a goal to provide positive and encouraging influences for young people, Anthony Kelly is on a mission… and his dreams are becoming a reality. C.H.A.M.P Camp was hosted at Kelly’s old proving grounds at Graceville High for the past three summers. “Champ camp is totally free to all kids that wan to participate”, Kelly said. “Food and snacks are provided to every kid”. The age of participants range from 5 years old to 18 years of age.
4Quartersonline.com sat down with Champ Kelly last week at this summer’s 4th annual C.H.A.M.P. Camp hosted by Bozeman High School in Panama City, FL. Over 250 kids from the panhandle were blessed with instruction from several coaches, former college and former pro athletes. The two day camp was more about inspiration than just instructions on the game of football. Many guest speakers from all over spoke about many topics that effect the lives of todays youth. The event was featured a prominent message to the young athletes that attended: “No matter who you are or where you come from, a positive attitude and hard work along with a big dream can propel you to do anything.” Some of the guest speakers included; Tallahassee Orthapediic Clinic’s Dr. Garrison Rolle, FAMU Vice President of Student Affairs William Hudson, TOC Athletic Trainer Rick Williams, University of Pikeville College Coach Will Heineman, and Clark Atlanta University Head Coach Kevin Weston.