HOLLADAY, Utah — Just under 100 youth and high school athletes gathered at Olympus High School Saturday for a one-day event, the Cancer Combine, modeled after the NFL Combine, designed for youth and high school athletes to test their body in speed, power and agility.
Athletes completed in five events: 40-yard dash, pro agility shuttle, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press and, especially for the youngsters, a push up competition.
All proceeds of the camp will go to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit charity working to eradicate children’s cancer.
“We wanted bring kids together to match themselves up against other athletes, but most importantly to help young kids that are battling pediatric cancer,” said former University of Utah standout Christian Cox, who coached the event.
“Stay focused and keep working toward your goals. You can make a difference on and off the field,” he advised the athletes.
All the players from ages 8 to 18 went through pro-style drills just like the college and NFL players would. While the sprint times might not have been as fast as the NFL, audiences could see on their faces how much fun they were having.
The founder of Sports Revolution, Brandon Godfrey, explained the inspiration for the camp came from an article he read about a group in Pennsylvania called Lauren's First and Goal, a charitable organization designed to enlist football players raise funds in the fight against pediatric cancer. The group was founded in 2004 by John and Marianne Loose in honor of their daughter, Lauren, a 16-year-old pediatric brain tumor survivor. The Loose family started the foundation as a way to help other families who are battling childhood cancer.
“We can help," Godfrey said. "We’ve all been so blessed in our careers. It’s time to give back to the youth and help a great organization. We need to support the fight against cancer. We can win this. ”
Coaches and former collegiate players Godfrey recruited for the youth camp included Mike Write, Matt Martinez, Riley Jensen, Chaz Walker, Casey Reir, Zach White and Christian Cox.
“It’s all about setting a high standard," Godfrey added. "We asked the kids to take a hard look at themselves and ask how they can be a better person in life and on the athletic arena. Improve yourselves everyday.” For more information, visit sportsrevolutionfootball.com.
Bill Quick, an Idaho native, studied communications, history and business at the University of Utah. He is the Sr. Director of Marketplace Operations at Deseret Digital Media and Deseret Connect Contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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