The camp, which was free for kids ages 8-13, focused on the basics of football, including non-contact passing, catching and running drills.
The event was sponsored by the T.J. Ward Foundation, which aims to empower young men and women in underprivileged communities across the nation.
“I like to give back, I like to be around the youth,” Ward said. “I like to give them as much info as I can about my experiences and how [that can] benefit them. Things like this are an easy way.”
Unlike some other player’s camps across the country, Ward made sure he was not only present but participating in drills, as well. Ward being available and meeting the kids was “the whole purpose of doing something like this,” he said.
Harris, like Ward, participated in the drills and said he showed up to support his teammate. But more importantly, he wanted to give back to the kids in the community.
“It’s always fun to be able to just line up against them and just let them have a chance to go against me,” Harris said. “That’s probably something they always dreamed about doing, and make it a little bit more fun for them. Something that when they get home tonight, they’ll be like ‘I lined up against Chris Harris.’”
Since giving back to the community was Ward’s main focus, he decided price shouldn’t play a role. Ward said he didn’t want to push away families who would struggle to pay a fee, and so he made the camp free to all participants. Saturday’s camp was “giving back for a reason,” he said, and making a profit would detract from that sentiment. When Ward was a kid, he said he went to a lot of free camps, too. His event provided an opportunity to pay that forward.
“You don’t realize how much of an impact you can have on a kid,” Ward said, “The smallest thing or the smallest gesture, they remember for a long time. They might [it] remember their whole life. Just that one moment. If I can do that for a kid, I’m gonna do it anyway possible.”