By Teresa Varley
Several Steelers players will be hosting football camps for kids in both Pittsburgh and in some of the player's hometowns.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and cornerback Deshea Townsend are hosting camps in the Pittsburgh area, while Willie Parker and LaMarr Woodley are having camps in their hometowns.
The Ben Roethlisberger Football Camp, open to boys and girls ages 7-14, will be held June 22-24 at Mars Area High School, just outside of Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger will direct the camp and provide instruction to the kids, along with college coaches from the Pittsburgh area.
"When you have a football camp there's so much you can teach," said Roethlisberger. "Being a quarterback, we emphasize mostly passing and receiving. We still give them defensive techniques and skills, but for the most part we put emphasis on passing, certain routes in the receiving game, dragging their feet on the sidelines and diving for balls
"I never got to do camps like this while growing up. For me, I have the opportunity to do it and put my name on something that's good"
The camp will feature various stations that specialize in fundamental skills and the team concept of football. For more information visit www.benroethlisbergercamp.com.
Townsend will host the Pay it Forward Football Day Camp on Saturday, June 6 at the Green Tree Sports Complex. The camp is a fundamental football skills clinic coupled with a leadership academy, open to boys and girls in second through 12th grades.
The objective of the one-day camp is to provide a safe environment while promoting good sportsmanship, academic success and leadership skills.
Townsend's Pay It Forward Foundation is also hosting a free community health fair to coincide with the camp.
"I'm so excited about bringing the Pay It Forward camp to Pittsburgh. We've done this camp for 10 years in my hometown and always dreamed about replicating it here. The kids will get to learn from some of the best, and we're planning a wonderful event just for them," said Townsend.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dtownsend26.com.
Parker will host the Fast Willie Parker's Football Camp in his hometown of Clinton, North Carolina on June 20. The camp, open to kids ages 8-17, gives kids the opportunity to work on their football skills, sportsmanship, and teamwork skills, while building self-esteem both on and off the field.
"I am doing it to give back to my home town," said Parker. "I donate everything back to the community. Me being in the position I am to do it is a blessing. To go out and see the smiles on the kids' faces the day of my camp I can't describe it. I wish someone did it when I was young. We didn't have anyone do anything like that. I went to camps, but you had to pay a lot. I made this affordable for everyone."
For more information visit www.fastwillie39.com.
Woodley will once again team with St. Louis Rams Clifton Ryan to host a camp in their hometown of Saginaw, Michigan at Saginaw High School on June 13.
The free camp, which is open to kids 8-15, combines football and teamwork skills while developing self-esteem both on and off the field.
"I love working with kids," said Woodley. "It's fun being around them with all of the excitement. Being an NFL player and coming back and do those things is fun. It's not to get people to notice you; it's just something I like to do."
For details visit www.lamarrwoodley56.com.