David Bruton, AFC Champion Denver Broncos safety and special-teams captain, is one of numerous NFL players who have dedicated a portion of their offseason in the past to working with Heart Power, Inc. and various C.H.A.M.P. Camps.
“[Heart Power, Inc. CEO] Champ [Kelly] knew that I had some connections with Kentucky, since I was born there. It was just a great way to link up, see my family, and see the other kids in Kentucky that grew up with a similar lifestyle as I did,” said Bruton.
While the C.H.A.M.P. Camps aren’t quite as competitive as an NFL practice, Bruton says the professional athlete in him is hard to suppress, especially when he is coaching against teammates such as Pro-Bowl tight end Julius Thomas and fellow Broncos defender Chris Harris Jr.
“As an NFL guy you love competition no matter what form it’s in—if it’s jumping jacks or what not. It’s just great to be at the camp and be competitive. The player-coaches get to be competitive along with the kids and it was an exciting experience and a lot of fun being in that atmosphere with the kids,” said Bruton.
The 2013 special-teams captain is widely regarded as a leader in the Denver Broncos community, and is also recognized for his passion for being active in the communities that supported him throughout his youth and subsequent football career.
During the 2011 NFL lockout, Bruton, who graduated from Notre Dame with degrees in political science, sociology, and a minor in Africano studies, returned to his former high school as substitute teacher.
“We’re blessed to have the opportunity to be in the NFL,” Bruton said. “So to bless these kids in some way, shape, or fashion—whether it’s on the football field, or in the classroom through substitute teaching, or speaking at special events like these camps, or going to play kickball at a school with them—it’s all part of being a part of a community.”
Regardless of if it’s teaching kids football fundamentals, life skills, or what a healthy and nutritious breakfast looks like, Bruton continues to use his platform as an NFL player and high-caliber community leader to give back and impact youth in positive ways.
“It’s just great to be a role model and be there at these camps and give motivation through words, but also motivation by just being there and letting these kids know that we support them.”