When Garth Brooks isn’t “wrapped up” in a tour or country music business, we pretty much picture him doing something legendary to keep up with his appropriately inherited legendary title. However, it’s not always winning over a rodeo or exploring the beaches of cheyenne that are required to uphold a prestigious status. This selfless country music icon showed us that by thinking outside of the celebrity box and creating a truly heroic experience for kids who are “much too young” to understand the power of this gesture, but nonetheless will appreciate it all the same.
Last Saturday, July 30, Brooks rallied up a number of volunteers, a former NFL player (Rudy Niswanger), and himself, to give roughly 100 children in Bossier City, Louisiana a football camp experience they are sure to never forget! The children attending, ranging from ages nine to thirteen, we’re encouraged to do their best and have fun in a series of football geared drills, skill building activities, and, of course, a scrimmage! Throughout the duration of the camp experience, Brooks only pushed for one emotion above all else; love.
“Dealing with somebody at this age, you want to introduce love into their life.. If you don’t introduce love into their life, then you’re going to deal with them without love in their life at (a later age). That’s not a good thing,” Brooks told USA Today.
When the fun and games were completed and it came time for the final team huddle, Brooks and Niswanger presented various participants with much deserved trophies. However, these trophies strayed from your typical “MVP” and “Fastest Runner” title. While there were a variety of awards that did address the players’ athletic assets to the day, Brooks also dispensed trophies that promoted the positive behavior and attitude of the players.
“There is nothing like seeing these kids all raise their hands together, all different colors, all different backgrounds and all scream “teammates,” Brooks explains. “That’s the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.”
This is not the first time that Brooks has created a positive environment for children and incorporated athletics. Back in 1999, Brooks cofounded and created Teammates For Kids, which gives athletes the opportunity to competitively make contributions to the organization in order to ensure that each child is given a fair start to success.
Teammates For Kids proudly states, “Professional athletes generously donate based on performance levels in their sport. A great pitcher, for example, might pledge a donation for every strikeout, a quarterback for completions, a hockey goalie for saves, a basketball player for free throws, etc. Then, the Foundation’s Board, made up of Hall of Fame athletes, corporation owners, corporate officers, and entertainers, triples the amount donated by each athlete.”
Nice work, Garth! You’re the real MVP!