What: Eat2Win Football (FUN)damental Camp and Health Combine for children 9-17 and parents/guardians;
Where: Charlie W. Johnson Stadium, 2047 Two Notch Rd, Columbia, SC;
When: June 10, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.,
Cost: $35 pre-registration/$40 day-of registration
Why: Teach fundamental football skills and help stimulate positive change and promote healthy lifestyles and wellness in the Palmetto State
Information: Call (803) 586-6796 or e-mail Eat2Wincamp@gmail.com
Former NFL and South Carolina defensive tackle Langston Moore has seen and personally experienced the devastating effect poor health inflicts on families.
When he was playing for the Gamecocks more than a decade ago, Moore's father passed away due to congestive heart failure. Couple of years later, Moore's mother died from the effects of stomach cancer.
Striving to take a stand and stimulate positive change in the way Palmetto State citizens think about health and wellness, Moore, who played six seasons in the NFL (2003-08) with three different teams (Cincinnati, Arizona and Detroit) and one year in the United Football League, spearheaded the organization of an unprecedented event entitled Eat2Win (EAT: Effort, Attitude and Technique) that combines football instruction for local youths by former college and NFL players with information and instruction about eating habits and living a healthy lifestyle.
The second annual Eat2Win football camp is set from June 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium, home of Benedict College, on Two Notch Road.
The first three or four hours of the camp will be dedicated to football activities, with one-on-one drills and instruction (Moore emphasized "heads up tackling" to avoid injuries). Simultaneously, the parents will be able to undergo health screenings.
Studies showing South Carolina has one of the highest rates of diabetes at 11.6 percent of the adult population and more than 1.1 million adults are obese in the state served as a call to arms for Moore, who formed Eat2Win with former Gamecocks Preston Thorne and Jon Alston to combat poor health in the Columbia area.
"With the Eat2Win camp, we use football as a catalyst for discussion and education to remind folks that they are responsible for their own health and well-being. We know habits play a key role in a healthy lifestyle, so our goal is to give as many resources as we can to cultivate these positive habits.
"We're trying to figure out ways to impact and reach these kids. Hearing the message about eating healthy and keeping your sugars low is cooler for kids when it comes from an athlete. It's the same message they're hearing at school, but it's coming from a different messenger."
The cost to attend the single-day camp is $35 during pre-registration and $40 for day-of registration. Benedict College campus tours are included.
While Moore, who serves as sideline reporter for the Gamecock Radio Network during football season, and numerous other former Gamecock and NFL athletes (the "South Carolina All-Stars") teach proper football skills to camp participants aged 9-17, their parents or guardians will have the opportunity to undergo preventive medical screenings, including tests for diabetes, blood pressure, vision and body mass index along with one-on-one nutritional consultations and healthy cooking tutorials.
"A lot of parents don't have the time or don't make the time to get themselves screened or don't have the resources," Moore said. "We try to give them a one-stop shop that day. Then we reinforce it with the kids later on (in the afternoon) when we have breakout sessions."
Cocky's Reading Express will be on hand, as well, to teach children about the importance of reading.
Lunches served to the campers will be organic. Representatives from Earthfare will be on hand to teach campers about proper nutrition.
"We want to show the kids why we're eating this type of fruit and why we're drinking this green smoothie, what's the benefits of it," Moore said. "We want to show them real world examples."
By undertaking this battle for better nutrition, Moore is essentially battling Madison Avenue. Kids today see celebrity athletes like LeBron James constantly promoting fast-food restaurants and soda on TV and desire to mimic what they see.
"We want to give them a realistic picture of what's going to help them be successful," Moore said. "It impacts them health-wise and financially. The zip code where Charlie Johnson Stadium is located has one the top rates in the country for amputees because of obesity-related diseases. So, it makes perfect sense to have this event over there.
"I tell kids all the time - just because you see LeBron in those commercials, I guarantee you he's not eating that stuff."
More than two dozen former Gamecock players are expected to participate in the East2Win camp, including some of the most popular USC players in the last 20 years such as Jermale Kelly, Erik Kimrey, Syvelle Newton, Shaq Wilson, Travelle Wharton, Andrew Pinnock, Demario Jeffery, Andre Goodman and Troy Williamson.
In addition, multiple coaches from Newberry College will be on hand offering instruction, including offensive coordinator Bennett Swygert (who started his career at USC before transferring to Western Carolina) and Assistant Head Coach and former Gamecock standout Cedric Williams.
"We have about 30 to 40 guys committed to come," Moore said. "We had tons of supports from smaller schools, too. They're all coming out. We wanted to show the kids that there are different levels of success. Not everybody is going to the NFL. And if you do, you might not stay long. It's about highlighting that.
"We make sure we have enough guys to keep it to 10 to 15 players per one coach. That way, every kid can have a personal interaction with somebody that has played football at a high level."