Nick Hill Football Camp
In blistering 95 degree temperatures, hundreds of kids showed up to participate in the Nick Hill football camp at the Central Florida Fair Ground on Monday. Nick Hill, Ben Bennett, and Dan Newlin pose with some of the kids at the Nick Hill Football camp, Central Florida Fair Grounds, July 25, 2011.
Sponsored by well-known Central Florida attorney Dan Newlin, the free camp drew more than 800 kids ranging in ages from 5 to 15 years who received coaching from top Orlando Predators players, such as Nick Hill, T.T. Toliver, Collin Drafts and NFL/AFL and Arena Football Hall of Fame player, Ben Bennett, among others.
Among the many civic causes which Newlin supports, West Orlando News Online asked why he is sponsoring a free football camp.
“It’s always great to be involved in the community, especially helping families and children,” Newlin responded. “A lot of the children here today come from homes where they may not be able to afford a private camp–some can, but many can’t.”
Newlin explained that the camp was divided into 8 different stations where kids got to work with professional football players and coaches in several areas including defense, offense and on various drills and positions that the NFL and AFL players themselves go through.
“Having a camp like this gives kids, no matter their socio-economic background, a great sense of belonging and hope to be able to meet professional footballers and also Predator players,” Newlin declared.
That’s exactly Cynthia’s sentiment, who is new to the area and whose 5-year-old grandson participated in the football camp.
“It’s just a wonderful thing what Mr. Newlin is doing for the kids,” Cynthia said. “My grandson would not have had this opportunity. He is going to start playing this year and this camp has given him a good start.”
But not only did the kids enjoy every minute of the camp, their coaches had just as much fun too.
Nick Hill, Predators quarterback, who Newlin said, took the lead on the implementation of how the camp would unfold, beamed in the sweltering heat. He said it was the largest camp that he has ever coached.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Hill said. “I have to thank Dan (Newlin) for sponsoring the camp and the CYFL for allowing it to be free for all the kids. But I definitely could not do it without the support of the other good coaches and volunteers.”
Hill added that because of the cost of private camps, many kids do not have an opportunity to be exposed to great coaches.
“I love football and I love kids and its a win-win,” Hill said.
Chandra, a mother from Sanford, with two sons, 9 and 5 years, who participated in the camp, summed it up this way:
“It’s a great opportunity for the kids to get together and learn to play together…and see some of the Orlando Predators and meet some of the guys doing this for a long time.”
Chandra added, “At first my younger son was a little apprehensive, but the second he made that first tackle, he was all thumbs, all smiles. They love it.”
And will this free football camp become an annual feature at the Central Florida Fair Ground?
“I expect that it will,” Newlin said.
Modestly acknowledging that he is engaged in many civic activities in Central Florida, Newlin said, this particular activity involves only children and that’s what makes it different.
“This one has just to do with the kids which is pretty cool,” Newlin said. “Hopefully we will be able to do this again in the near future.”