Dare to Play Football and Dare to Cheer Camps – Annapolis, MD

Annapolis, MD

View photos from the Dare to Play Football Camps

On June 1 and 2, 2012, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation hosted the first Dare to Play Football and Dare to Cheer Camp outside of Colorado. The Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland saw former Denver Bronco McCaffrey reunite with former Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan to coach individuals with Down syndrome at the two-day intensive camp, which served more than 30 people with Down syndrome. The Annapolis Camp culminated in an exciting scrimmage game, complete with halftime entertainment from the Dare to Cheer campers, who had been learning cheerleading moves and drills from the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders.

McCaffrey and Shanahan were joined by fellow celebrity coaches Brian Billick, a current NFL analyst on FOX and former Baltimore Ravens Head Coach, and Rocky McIntosh, former linebacker for the Washington Redskins. Midshipmen from the U.S. Navy were each paired up with an individual with Down syndrome to provide one-on-one attention, assistance and fun. By the end of the weekend, more than 30 males and females with Down syndrome participated, learning core touch football skills, cheerleading drills and team-building activities.

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 McCaffrey started talking at a benefit and realized there were little to no opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome to play football.

Since its inception, the Dare to Play Football Camp has served 265 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. Just $40 underwrites one camper’s football jersey, and $60 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.

2012 Partners & Sponsors

Ed McCaffrey

Denver Bronco Cheerleaders

Washington Redskins Cheerleaders

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

2012 In-Kind Sponsors

Sodexho Beverages

Fado Irish Pub

Papa John’s

The Main Ingredient Catering

California Pizza Kitchen


Pit Boys

Famous Dave’s