The Cleveland Browns Foundation was on site at Camp Cheerful to help the Achievement Centers for Children's Cleveland Browns Adapted Football League kickoff their fourth season.
More than fifty athletes and their families from the Adapted Football League attended the open house skills session at Camp Cheerful, located in Strongsville.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer, linebacker Jabaal Sheard, punter Spencer Lanning and alumni Al Jenkins and Frank Stams, along with Browns mascot Chomps, were on hand to welcome the athletes and participate in training-camp style drills.
"We are thankful to the Browns for lending their support to the program," said Mike Urban, manager of sports services for the Achievement Centers for Children. "It gives instant credibility to the program and what we are trying to do, which is ultimately give these kids the opportunity to play the game of football."
Upon arriving to camp, athletes were given personalized jerseys to wear throughout the five-week season, which will culminate with an All-Star Game in July. Athletes and volunteers also took their annual league photo before participating in the football skills activities, including field goal kicking and target throwing.
"It means a lot to these kids," said Lanning. "We are as big a fan of these kids as they are of us. For me this is what it's all about, having this platform through the Cleveland Browns and being able to be involved like this."
Currently, the league consists of two divisions and players compete against individuals of their same skill level. Division I is for participants with cognitive/developmental delays and is played on a grass field without the use of any assistive equipment. Division II is a power/manual wheelchair league for participants with physical limitations and/or cognitive/developmental delays.
The Adapted Football League relies heavily on volunteers, with over 80 volunteers committing their time each season. If you are interested in becoming involved with the league, please visit http://www.achievementcenters.org/sports/adapted-football.html
About Cleveland Browns Foundation:
The Cleveland Browns Foundation is dedicated to a solution-based, holistic approach to ensure Northeast Ohio youth receive the development and education they need as a foundation for independence and success. For more information, visit ClevelandBrowns.com/community.
About the Adapted Football League
The Adapted Football League was created in 2011 with the goal of giving children with disabilities the opportunity to play the game of football. With assistance from volunteers, kids are able to be part of a football team and take part in game action. This program is the first of its kind in the state of Ohio.