On June 23-24, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation kicked off its sixth annual Next Level Youth Football Camp for 475 boys and girls, ages 7-17 at Piscataway High School. Jenkins, a native New Jerseyan, along with several other prominent current and former NFL players, served as mentors providing hands-on instruction and motivational lessons, with support of local area high school coaches and community partners. Participants were grouped based on age, with an emphasis placed on skill development, safety, and fun of the game.
Advancing the Foundation’s mission to effectuate positive change in the lives of young people and the communities in which they live, the camp also provided parents and guardians in attendance with industry-leading resources to help them understand how to protect the health and safety of their young athletes. The FREE health, wellness and sports safety information workshops were offered through a partnership with Safe Kids-NJ, a program founded and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and included industry experts from RWJ Barnabas Health, NAMI, and Simon’s Fund. Topics included Nutrition and Hydration, Concussion Recognition and Recovery, Overuse Injury Prevention and Care, Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Athletes, Mental Health Illness in Youth Athletes and Creating a Safe Sports Culture/Positive Play.
“Our goal is to create a safe sports culture by educating and building awareness around health and safety topics for parents and the campers, which can encourage conversation between them and make a big difference in their overall wellness,” said Gwendolyn V. Jenkins, President of the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation.
Sport Testing Inc., a leading provider of sport specific player testing and athletic assessment technologies, provided state-of-the-art combine testing to all campers, sponsored by Dynasty Sports Group, a company founded by former New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Champion and Jenkins former teammate, Marques Colston.
“Each year, we try to add unique and innovative components to the program to make it a better experience for the campers. Since 2012, the camp has grown approximately 25 percent each year and I’m grateful to have the support of my NFL colleagues and High School coaches, who give their time and effort to coach and mentor the kids, which we hope will have a positive and lasting impact in their lives,” said Malcolm Jenkins.
NFL players participating in the camp include Devin McCourty (New England Patriots), Sidney Jones (Philadelphia Eagles), Ron Brooks (Philadelphia Eagles), Travell Dixon (Carolina Panthers), Marques Colston (former New Orleans Saints), Brandon Bing (former New York Giants) and Steven Miller (former Detroit Lions).
This year’s camp was made possible through the generosity of sponsors and community partners including AT&T, Piascik, The Heldrich, The Muscle Maker Grill, Dynasty Sports Group, Piscataway Township Schools, Safe Kids New Jersey, Philadelphia Eagles, RWJ Barnabas Health, American Water, Simon’s Fund, NAMI, Thomas Sweet, State Farm Agent Robby West, BASH, Township of Piscataway, Piscataway PBA Local 93, North Shelton Volunteer Fire Department, the NFLPA and its partners QuestNutrition, CorePower, SKLZ, Dometic and a grant from the NFL Foundation. See full photo gallery here.