SAN ANTONIO — The experience at the Angel Tree Sports Camp is bigger than just sports.
“I call this an experience of a lifetime,” said Joe Avila, national director of the program.
Many of the children at Cornerstone Christian School have parents who are in jail or prison. At the sports camp, the kids get to work with local coaches and former NFL players, who help them improve their skills on the field and learn important life skills while doing so.
”It’s definitely humbling to be around all of these coaches and players and for them to be here spending their time to help us,” sports camp participant Noah said.
“Whatever level you play sports at, it is a family,” added Bruce Collie, an 8-year NFL veteran. “You learn to depend on one another, you learn to give your all, to give everything. And that’s what we’re trying to teach out here today.”
Avila says they’re using football to teach some important concepts like teamwork, and, most importantly, family.
“I think it’s growing their character and making them realize there’s something else they can do with their lives other than follow in their parents’ footsteps,” Avila said.
When it’s all over, it’s this family that the kids know they’ll always have even when things get tough.
”I have kids that have been coming to our football camps for several years together, and they really look forward to the opportunity to come,” Avila said.
”I think it’s cool I get to come out here with other kids and practice with them, and get more experience,” Noah added.