Newton: Inspire youth to change

By Sarah Obeid

CORNELIUS – More than 20 teams from the Carolinas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. participated in the second annual Cam Newton Foundation 7-on-7 Football Tournament on June 26 at Hough High School.
Through his football initiative, Newton wants to empower youth to make a
difference and positively affect kids in their everyday lives.
“It’s bigger than myself,” he said. “It’s more about how we all can learn something from it and how we can take something from this event and apply it to everyday life to make us better.”
Newton defines football as a pivotal sport and that is why he says 7-on-7 is a great way for kids to play football more months out of the year to allow them to evaluate their standings and improve.
“I look forward to it each and every year,” Newton said. “It’s one thing to give back to my community. It’s another thing to show my presence.”
Hough football player Christian Young said having Cam Newton come to his school was overwhelming. According to several athletes, Newton kept a serious face and encouraged the teams to work hard.
“Newton tells us to stay positive and not get down on (ourselves),” Young said.
Young and teammate Carl Tucker felt confident Hough would win, especially since they won last year. However, Spartanburg Dorman High won this year’s tournament.
The Cam Newton Foundation donates $2,500 to the first-place winner to buy new football equipment.
Newton said he is not physically out on the field to be the popular figure everybody knows and anxiously waits to meet. He wants to keep coming back out to directly influence athletes.
Newton said his foundation focuses on shaping youth through education and helping them understand health and wellness.
“When you look at the dropout rate around the United States of America, its embarrassing. When you look at the obesity rate around America, it’s also embarrassing,” Newton said. “I am just trying to be somewhat of a spark to make a change, not in everyone’s life, but everybody who I come in contact with.”

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