BRADFORD — Bradford varsity football coach Curtis Enis and Bradford Church of the Nazarene hosted a youth football camp on Saturday to teach leadership and spirituality through football.
Close to 20 kids in the fourth through eighth grades, mostly from the Bradford area, attended the inaugural Ignite Youth Football Camp in partnership with USA Football FUNdamentals at Bradford Schools.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get involved in our community in a positive way,” Pastor Louis Reindel of the Church of the Nazarene said.
The free clinic was designed to introduce youth to football by teaching basic skills and drills. The one-day camp incorporated a series of drills to teach passing, catching and running skills in a non-contact environment and also included competition such as a seven-on-seven game.
Through learning basic drills, Enis and fellow coaches were able to help kids learn leadership, how to work as a team and how to encourage each other while gaining knowledge of football.
“We just want to develop kids’ character,” Enis said.
Enis, a member of the Church of the Nazarene, also incorporated spirituality in his message.
“You’d have to say football, but to be honest with you, just trying to plant a seed and help them develop a relationship with the Lord,” he said of his message to the youth. “I think that’s the biggest thing.”
Enis had experience helping at other camps and wanted to provide an opportunity in the Bradford community, Reindel said.
“Curtis has grown a lot in the past year or so in his faith,” the pastor said. “He’s come to the point where he’s ready to share it with others, share it with youth.”
By using football, the camp leaders hope the kids came away with positive messages that they will be able to use.
“We want them to learn what it really means to be a leader,” Reindel said. “So much of the world that we see, a leader is all focused on the guy that has the best athletic skills, the most talent, he’s maybe a good communicator. But the best leader is a guy that listens to God’s direction in his life and is willing to maybe sacrifice himself to help others. What we’re wanting to teach these kids is what it means to be a real leader, to have integrity, to do the right thing even when no one is watching.”