Helping others learn about football

Roosevelt Nix loves football. He loves to travel. And loves giving back to others.

That is why he is once again among a group taking part in the American Football without Barriers (AFWB) camp, this year heading to Portugal to teach football to those with a desire to learn more about the game.

Nix was introduced to the organization through former teammate DeAngelo Williams, who is on the board of AFWB, a nonprofit that hosts free camps to develop American football in other countries. The camps help support football clubs and leagues in those countries, while encouraging sportsmanship and physical activity.

This year Nix will join Williams and a group that includes 15 current and former players on the trip that will be highlighted by two days of camps for men, women and children, as well as a one-day clinic for coaches.

"Just to be a teacher in a situation like that is special," said Nix. "To know that if I tell you this is the way we do it, or this it the right way to do it, and to know you are going to grow up learning that and teaching it to other people, it's kind of like a legacy. If you can be a part of that, it's special. To know people are listening to you and passing it on is a great thing."

The love of football in the United States is something commonplace, something everyone knows exists. But the passion for the sport is far reaching, beyond what many fans might even be aware of. That is why they do the camps, and why Nix is going back for a second time.

"I was dumbfounded by how much people wanted to learn," said Nix. "Last year we went to Finland. I had no idea people wanted to play football in Finland. They want to learn and they want to be great.

"I have been to Mexico, Finland and now Portugal. Seeing that I know football is the number one thing in the world. Just the way people react to it, and want it. I have never seen people want to be a part of something so bad. To have NFL players come and teach the proper technique is a great thing."

The trip is also about community outreach, giving back in a variety of ways. The group will visit an area of Portugal that was devastated by fires last October, where at least 41 people were killed as a result of the raging blaze that was fanned by the strong Atlantic winds from Hurricane Ophelia. They also will be visiting a home for neglected children as well as an orphanage.

"If you aren't giving back, what are you doing?" said Nix. "That is what we are here for, to help people and pass that energy along."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content