7Athlete is a Christian ministry designed with the kids of Amarillo in mind -- giving them a strong foundation both physically and spiritually. Former conditioning coach for Texas A&M University, the Seattle Seahawks and multiple professional athletes, Todd Pratt is now the Executive Director for 7Athlete. He wants to give the kids structure that they might not get outside of the camp.
Todd says, "There are seven different levels to our training program that's why we can have older kids training with the younger kids. The spiritual and emotional component -- we walk through the exact same things. We start out with the basics of tool that we would use to power their lives, to basically all the spiritual and emotional assets at their disposal so they can be successful both on and off the field."
Julie Sims, Chairman of the Board, is working on ways to partner with the police department and Amarillo's SWAT team. The police and SWAT team often enter situations where the kids are left behind, and nominate them for the 7Athlete program.
Julie says, "They have such compassion for these kids that are left in these homes and these situations, and they want to have something to offer them that's a positive thing in their life. This is something that they can give them a card and say this is a 7Athlete program, how can we get you there."
Tae Evans, former West Texas A&M Defensive back who played in the NFL, is sharing his professional sport experiences with 7Athlete.
Tae says, "I feel like in my life I need to be a good example. I feel like my place is supposed to be here and I went to the NFL, and the kids see that NFL player from P.D. from Amarillo made it. So I think I'd be good hope for them."
7Athlete also has an anti-bullying component, placing the younger kids with the older, more experienced athletes.
"We teach them to invest in the younger generation and protect them and empower them and coach them up," Todd says.
Angelica Esparza says, "It's really fun because everybody gets to be together and we get to learn new stuff everyday."
Angelica and Ashton are weekly campers and enjoy the physical activity.
Ashton Holladly, "I'm trying to be a NFL athlete, and I think if I start earlier I'll be able to."
"We pray together and we have a spiritual and life lesson at the start and we train hard, and then we wrap it up at the end. Our main focus is that they're successful in life and that they're spiritually empowered so they can go maximize their potential at whatever is it that they or God decides for them to do," says Todd.
The camp also ends with a homework assignment, sending the kids out in the community or their home to help people.
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