Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11)- “The best part about the camp is not necessarily the skills on the field, but the lesson we are going to teach the kids,” said DaMarrion Fleming.
He is coordinating a youth football camp that’s free to kids ages 5 to 14-years-old. It’s called Take Back the Street. The plan is to combat West Louisville violence by starting with the next generation of kids who are at risk for living the street life.
Fleming just graduated from the University of Louisville. He grew up in a rough community and his life could have turned out very different. He says football saved him. He hopes it can save other kids who are growing up just like he did.
“This one week could make a difference in their lives,” asked WHAS 11’s Renee Murphy.
“This one week will make a difference. Whether they choose to play or not they know they have somewhere to go or someone to go to when things are wrong.”
Fleming works with the California Jets in West Louisville. It’s a youth football program.
The Take Back the Streets camp starts on Monday.
After a recent surge in violence in that community Fleming says this could be the answer.
“They can find out what kind of skills they have. If they are a star, what kind of ability they have and a lot of kids learn maybe football ain’t for me but maybe something else,” said Fleming.
“They are looking for a direction and we are here to give that to them. A future cause these kids are definitely our future. If we don't teach them now they will follow the same path,” said Latanya Hawkins, helping coordinate the camp.
Hawkins and Shanta King are working hard to make this camp a success.
King says football saved her son from a life of street violence.
“He is now a student at Trinity High School he has a 4.0 grade point average. He's on an academic scholarship. I think that him being a part of this organization gave him the opportunity and the leverage to be able to do that once he left. I strongly believe that,” said King.
If you are interested in the football camp you can call the California Community Center or click here for contact information for the California Jets.