The Seattle Seahawks Tyler Polumbus was in the news lately.
From the punting practice to the agility drills, the developmentally disabled participants at Thursday’s football camp were eager to learn from NFL players.
The free clinic was held at East Boulder Park and sponsored by Denver-based group Tyler’s Kids Outreach, a nonprofit organization for kids created by Tyler Polumbus, offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks.
Polumbus, 26, played for University of Colorado and even spent two years with the Denver Broncos. He started his organization two years ago and frequently does work with kids in Colorado and Seattle.
Members of Polumbus’s family are disabled, and he said he wants to help out in a community that’s close to him.
“I’m in a position where I can give back,” Polumbus said. “We get more out of it than they do.”
Click on any photo for gallery
Polumbus also got his football buddies involved, including Washington Redskins punter Sam Paulescu, Minnesota Viking guard Seth Olsen, and CU Buffs punter Zach Grossnickle. Each player taught stations in his specialty, such as running, throwing and offense.
Paulescu and Grossnickle taught the punting station where participants were taught how to effectively kick the ball.
Ian Weber, 23, of Boulder donned a CU football jersey and said he was excited to learn from the team’s punter. Even though it was former Buff Cody Hawkins’ jersey, Weber said he’s a big fan of Tyler Hansen, CU’s starting quarterback.
When it was his turn to kick, Weber was confident in his skill to get the ball down the field.
“I’m coming for you,” said Weber, pointing a few yards down at Paulescu, who was the kicking target.
Paulescu cheered on each participant as it was his or her turn. After a strong kick from Kendra Minden, 19, she threw her arms up in a touchdown fashion.
“Did you see that?” Minden asked. “Best one yet.”
Every person rotated through all the drills and learned essential football techniques. Polumbus said these clinics are great because they teach life lessons.
“Football is an avenue to learn hard work, dedication and motivation, which all helped me get to where I am,” Polumbus said.
But not everyone in the group was new to football, like Chris Davidson, 22, who played wide receiver for Pueblo High School. He wanted to get the professionals in good shape.
“I’m going to toughen you up like no tomorrow because football season starts next month,” Davidson said to Polumbus.
After a long day of activity, rain forced the group into the East Boulder Community Center, where everyone got a certificate and autographs from the players. Lots of high fives and chest bumps were exchanged, but not before the players left the group with some thoughtful words.
Paulescu told the group to work hard and follow their dreams no matter what challenges they have.
Not all the advice given was to the camp participants. Davidson had helpful words for Polumbus and his Seahawks teammates.
“Good luck this year,” he said. “You’re going to need it.”