INDIANAPOLIS – This year, the Indianapolis Colts have made a jumpstart on Colts Community Tuesdays by hosting the first Colts Rookie Community Blitz on Tuesday, June 19 at Concord Neighborhood Center in Indianapolis, Ind.
As their journey begins in a new era for the Colts organization, the rookies carved out a brief break from practicing their own drills to spend time with approximately 200 underserved youth. The children from Concord and Mary Rigg Neighborhood Centers, ages 12 and under, screamed in excitement as the entire roster of Indianapolis Colts rookies and team mascot, Blue, raced into the south side Indianapolis community center.
The afternoon consisted of activities to inspire creativity and highlight the importance of PLAY 60 and literacy, both of which are key Colts outreach initiatives.
"The goal of our Rookie Community Blitz is to activate new players in the community, introduce them to some of Indianapolis' local charities and give youth a unique opportunity to meet and interact with our players," said Stephanie Pemberton, Colts senior director of community relations.
To help encourage children to take an active interest in health and fitness, children ages 8 and older took to the outdoors where a PLAY 60 Football Camp was set up. A picturesque view of Lucas Oil Stadium in the backfield provided the perfect scenery.
While the older kids played outdoors, the younger children had their own PLAY 60 activity indoors: rock-climbing! To cultivate the children's creative and literature interests, the players also helped the kids design a special craft in honor of Blue and read two children's books.
The kids were not the only ones appreciative of the experience. The Colts Rookie Community Blitz provided an extraordinary opportunity for the players as well, allowing the 2012 class a chance to tackle a community service project as a unit.
"Give. Serve. Lead. That is the motto the rookies are learning to embrace as new members of the Colts organization," said David Thornton, Colts director of player engagement. "As we prepare the rookies for life as an NFL player and being productive members of the Colts organization, we wanted to instill the importance of community service early on and show the integral impact they can make on the lives of others."
The children in attendance for this year's Colts Rookie Community Blitz are participants in summer camps hosted by Concord and Mary Rigg.
About Colts Community Tuesdays
Colts Community Tuesdays represent an annual series of community events that activate Colts players on Tuesdays, the only scheduled off-day for NFL players around the league during the football season. To see what the Colts are doing in the community throughout the year, follow us on Twitter *@coltscommunity and 'Like' us on Facebook at Colts in the Community.*
About Concord Neighborhood Center
Concord Neighborhood Center offers south side Indianapolis families and individuals of all ages a one-stop source for social services, children's programs, educational opportunities, health & fitness information and recreational activities, and cooperative programs with other agencies. Concord takes pride in their ability to positively impact the lives of those they serve from the south side neighborhood and all those interested in experiencing life to its fullest. To learn more, visit *www.concordindy.org.*
About Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center
Located on Indianapolis' southwest side, Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center provides a variety of services and resources for families and individuals to get connected, find the help they need and improve their future. To learn more, visit *www.maryrigg.org.*
*Both Concord Neighborhood Center and Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center are agencies of United Way of Central Indiana, a community partner of the Indianapolis Colts. *