Dare to Play Football Camp

Dare to Play

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation launched the Dare to Play Football Camp for individuals with Down syndrome in the summer of 2010. It is affiliated, and runs simultaneously, with the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders Dare to Cheer Camp.

At the Dare to Play Football Camp, individuals (males and females) ages 8 and up are welcome to join and learn core touch football skills and team-building activities. Each camper is paired with a high school football player for one-on-one attention, assistance and fun.

The idea for the camp came about when the Global Down Syndrome Foundation Executive Director, Michelle Sie Whitten, and former All-Pro wide receiver and three-time Super Bowl champion Ed McCaffrey started talking at a benefit and realized there were little to no opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome to play football.

The resulting Dare to Play Football Camp was developed by a team including Ed McCaffrey and Valor Christian High School coaches, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, and Patricia C. Winders, the Sie Center’s world-renowned physical therapist and Down syndrome expert. The program also benefitted from a visit to the 49ers camp in San Francisco and from the Kansas City Metro Challenger football league.

The camp includes professional Valor Christian High School football coaches instructing the campers. On the final day, the camp culminates with a Football Game Day held at Valor Christian High School with more than 400 people in attendance.

Since its inception, the Dare to Play Football Camp has served nearly 200 people with Down syndrome and twice as many people from the community. The camp provides an opportunity for people with Down syndrome to learn touch football skills and to play an end-of-camp game with celebrity coaches. Simultaneously, the camp showcases what people with Down syndrome can do. You can help support this camp by donating to the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. $60 underwrites one camper’s football jersey, and $90 covers a cheerleading uniform.

If you are interested in enrolling in the camp, attending Game Day, volunteering, or learning more, please contact us at programs@globaldownsyndrome.org.

2014 Global Down Syndrome Foundation Dare to Play Football with Ed McCaffrey

Meet the 2014
Camp Coaches and Instructors

2014 Corporate Sponsors

Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos Cheerleaders

Valor Athletics

Sports Eddy

Sports and Spine

In-Kind Donors

Cici’s Pizza
Einstein Bros Bagels
Mimi’s Cafe
Pasta Jay’s
Denver Athletic
Happy Cakes
Ice Mountain Mist


John Ditirro
Erica Porter


Ryan Gonzales

Dare to Play CBS 4
CBS 4 News Denver highlights Global’s Dare to Play

Dare to Play 9News
Ed McCaffrey talks to 9News about Global’s Dare to Play

Denver Broncos TV
Denver Broncos TV spotlights Dare to Play- See Video

Denver Broncos features Dare to Play Game Day- See Pics and Read the Article

CBS 4 News Denver, Photos from Game Day

Highlands Ranch Herald

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation was proud to partner with the fabulous Denver Broncos Cheerleaders for the Dare to Cheer Camp and Ed McCaffrey for the Dare to Play Camp Game Day!

Hundreds of fans cheered on camp participants with Down syndrome as they took the field with celebrity coaches Ed McCaffrey, Orlando Franklin, Malik Jackson, the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders and more!

The Game was kicked off by the The Denver Broncos Thunderstorm jump group as they skydived into the football stadium.

The Valor Christian High School Eagles football players served as “Pals” for football camp participants with Down syndrome. The Eagles have won five consecutive state football championships.

After the game there was a large community celebration party with food, beverages, music and other fun activities.