An annual event at Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids, the Jared Veldheer Football Camp for students in grades 5 through 8, raises money for the Metro Health Foundation "Keeping the Beat" program. Following tradition, the IBOAI sponsors the football camp to offer kids the opportunity to get tips and advice from a real pro, inform parents on sports injuries and heart screens, and to benefit Metro Health's program that provides free heart screens for local students. Those who registered early received a free camp T-shirt and autographed copy of Stay in the Game - Jared Veldheer's Journey to the NFL.
As in years past, this fun, action-packed summer evening on June 28 featured a sports clinic for kids with NFL football pro, Jared Veldheer - Team Captain of the Arizona Cardinals, Hillsdale Two-time All American, and Forest Hills Northern alumnus. After campers registered, they played catch, stretched and did calisthenics together - then, they broke into four group stations: tackling, running backs, quarterbacks, and lineman.
Jared Veldheer spoke about fueling your mind and body as an athlete. The student campers were in awe of Jared Veldheer from the moment he came on the field and joined them in calisthenics. At 6'8" and 321 pounds, Jared's positive attitude and charisma are as powerful as his physical presence and athleticism. He encouraged the kids to work as hard as they can to reach their goals. He also reminded them, "Keep a positive attitude and realize you can't control everything so control what you can - don't get discouraged." Jared believes that good nutrition and hydration are key to a person's health and contribute to successful performance in sports. He advises, "Stay away from high-sugar foods and beverages. Rely on water for hydration when you're playing sports!" During the breaks, campers refueled with Perfect Empowered Drinking Water™ and XS™ Sports Protein Bars. (The kids loved the snacks!)
Dr. Brian J. Hinkley, a family practice specialist affiliated with Metro Health and "Keeping the Beat," spoke about the free student heart screening program for local students 12 to 18 years. Dr. Hinkley said, "To date, approximately 800 students have been screened for pre-existing conditions. We hold the screenings twice a year and during the screenings, we provide AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) training."
The evening closed with campers participating in an invigorating game of Air Force football followed by two special treats - summer-perfect ice cream and the opportunity for an individual photo with Jared Veldheer. Both were extremely popular with the campers!