Jaguars’ LB Khairi Fortt Football Camp Sends Successful Message
12 Jul 2015
STAMFORD — Not all professional athletes wish to take the time or have the inclination to give back.

Fortunately for the city of Stamford, Khairi Fortt doesn’t fall into that category.

The second-year linebacker of the Jacksonville Jaguars gave back to his hometown in a big way Sunday by hosting the innaugural Khairi Fortt free football camp at Westhill High School.

Close to 100 boys in grades 6, 7 and 8 participated in the four-hour camp held in collaboration with the Stamford Youth Foundation, which runs the Stamford Youth football programs.

“Working with the kids today reminded me of where I used to be when I was their age,” Fortt said. “I saw a lot of ambition and drive in this group. I want to show them they can make it in football and in life like I did. I want to be a role model for these kids.”

Fortt, his dad Guy Fortt and the Stamford Youth Foundation brought in a vast array of Stamford-area football coaches as well as current and former NFL players to show the kids the proper way to play football while making it fun and exciting.

NFL and USC legend Garry Cobb of Stamford, along with Mark Harrison, a former Rutgers wide receiver from Stratford who just spent mini-camp with the New York Jets, brought the players’ perspective.

Former Trinity Catholic football head coach Pete Stokes ran one of the seven football drill stations. St. Luke’s School football head coach Noel Thomas Sr., current Trinity Catholic football head coach Donny Panapada and current Stamford High football head coach Jamar Greene — who has devoted countless hours over the years coaching in Stamford Youth football — also lent their support to the cause.

Stamford mayor David Martin was present when Fortt — through his Khairi Fortt Foundation — donated $3,000 to Stamford Youth Football and $500 to the football program at his alma mater, Stamford High School.

“We are very grateful for Khairi’s donation. One hundred percent of that money will go to the kids in the form of uniforms, football equipment, etc.,” Stamford Youth Foundation president Tony Spadaccini said. “We hope to be able to open up Khairi’s camp to fourth grade through eighth grade next year. Our message today isn’t just football. It’s about the importance of school work, and taking steps forward in life.”

“The youth level of football is the most critical part since this is where you build a foundation,” St. Luke’s coach Thomas said. “This is the time you build habits and then track progress in football and life.”

Life Fitness, Hope Pizza, Morgan Stanley, Advanced Athletic Development, The Relocation Group, Printabili Tees and Steven J. Samela were other key sponsors of the camp.

“I’m so happy to have a platform like this to give back. I’ve seen so many great athletes during my journey who were sidelined by bad grades,” Fortt said. “I thought I had all the answers when I was young. But I didn’t. I want these kids to know the hard work you have to do to reach your goals. I want to give them advice about hard work and perseverance. I want to be a person who creates a vision that kids can follow for their future. I want to give kids hope toward gaining personal success.”

This post was written by sports

Representing the Best NFL Players since 1978