“It feels good to be back in Spartanburg and be able to use my name to do some good,” said Sims. “I’m always told that I’m going to brighten up somebody else’s day (with the activities), but I always end up feeling my day was brightened.”
Ryan Sims of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held his first annual camp at Dorman High School in Spartanburg, SC from June 29-30, 2007. Approximately 150 youths between the ages of 8 – 14 attended the free football camp which consisted of two days of educational instruction on topics such as the importance of education, saying no to drugs, and a discussion about how children can help with the fight against cancer; instruction on offensive and defensive skills; and a few games. The youth were treated to breakfast snacks, lunch and gift bags all courtesy of Ryan Sims and sponsors. 10 students with A-averages received autographed prizes as acknowledgment of their academic success while others were given an opportunity to compete for autographed footballs and other prizes.
“As a former Dorman High Cavalier, I could think of no better place than Dorman to host my inaugural football camp,” states Sims. “I decided to take it back, by enlisting the very same coaches that taught me how to be become a better player into teaching the kids the fundamentals of the game of football.” Ryan goes on further to say “when I was growing up, free camps were unheard of. Many of them were to costly for the average parent in Spartanburg to afford, so when we decided to put one together it was important to me to offer my camp for free, to erase any barrier that would prevent a parent from signing up their child.”
QUOTES FROM PARENTS:
“I was telling Ryan that a lot of times these kids see NFL players on TV and it’s hard to relate, but when they can see him here, a kid from their area, that let’s them know that if he did it, they can do something similar,” Ryan’s father Ronnie Sims said. “Ryan started just like these guys and he’s trying to set an example, not just with football, but stressing education, staying out of trouble, and living life in a positive way. If Ryan can make a difference in just one kid’s life, then the whole thing is worth it. You can’t lose when you invest in children.” – Ronnie Sims (Ryan’s dad)
“I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you and Ryan Sims for having the free football cap last week. My son, Chad Thomas, greatly appreciated it. I was the one who was there most of the day with my other two sons, one of them being the very tall one. It was a pleasure having my son be a part of your camp and he truly enjoyed it. I pray that you will be blessed enough to continue having the camp in the future. Everyone involved in the program were great with the children. It was awesome to be able to talk with Ryan and his family. My family always gets together on Sunday at my parent’s house after church. I have six nephews that were there the Sunday after the camp. I think they may have gotten an earful about how great Ryan and his camp were. Chad talked a lot about what took place at the camp, how Ryan interacted with everyone, all the quarterbacks Ryan had sacked, and from hearing him talk, I do not know if Ryan had shared at lot with them or if Chad looked up some thing on the internet, but he was tell them a lot bout Ryan’s football stats. I was impressed. But, Chad loves the sports and everything. Then on Wednesday, Chad told me that he had been looking at ESPN and they were doing specials on a different player each day that had hosted a camp similar to Ryan’s. He wondered if the were following Ryan or what, but that it was no mention about Ryan’s great works. I informed him that at times you may get overlooked of being mention on programs like that, but those that participated in the program, and shared the great experience would mean a lot. Then he wondered if their programs were free to the participants like Ryan’s was. Please just know how much we appreciate all that you did. We hope we are able to hear about next year’s program so that Chad may be able to participate. Please let Ryan and everyone else involved how much we appreciated everything and May God continue to bless you all.” – Ms. Thomas
“Ryan, just wanted to let you know that you are truly a Blessing to the kids here in Spartanburg, you are the only football player that made it out and gave back to his community, but I tell everybody that it’s because of your parents and the fact that you come from a christian background. I grew up around your great-grandmother and your mother and they were good to the kids in the neighborhood then. My son has not taken off his camp t-shirt yet. Again Thanks for everything and when my superstar make it in about 10 more years, I’ll make sure he does the same.” – Ms. Jackson