Special camp for special kids

February 20, 2008 5:08:01 PM PST
There was a very unique training camp going on at Reliant Wednesday. For the first time ever, the Houston Texans hosted a camp to help teach some very special kids how to play football. It's a game they've only heard, never seen. It would be a dream for almost any kid, the chance to train in the same place the Texans do. But for the HISD students, the meaning was so much more.

"It's really exciting because I've never done anything like this before in my life," said fourth-grader Mari Delgado.

Each of the kids is blind and for many of them, it's the first time they've played on a real football field.

To make it happen, the Texans had to make some adjustments. For the drills, each student had a guide. On the kicking field, a special device known as the 'beep box' was used to audibly alert the child to where the ball was.

"For our kids that have a lack of vision, this gives them the ability to excel and not look at their disabilities, but their abilities," said Melvin Marx with HISD.

But it was not just about playing the game. The students also got an education. Through touch, they could feel what turf is like or just how heavy a uniform weighs.

But it's not just rewarding for the kids. For the players, it's also a gift.

"We have some of the greatest fan support in the world, so it's good for them to come out and check us out," said Texans running back Darius Walker.

So even if these children wouldn't ever get to see a real touchdown, they will always remember the time they became part of the game.

"I do feel like I'm part of the team," said seventh-grader Camille Winfield.

And the kids didn't leave empty handed. They got great shirts and in about a week, they will be getting an extra treat -- their very own rule book, translated of course in Braille.

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