Welcome news that Week of Champions continues

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Welcome news that Week of Champions continues

Published Friday, November 16, 2012   |  295 Words  |  

Volunteers Gary and Wanda Wetherington and Greg and Connie Brezina built a youth sports program on Hilton Head Island that came to be as much a rite of summer as bathing suits and Saturday traffic.

And the Week of Champions deserved to continue after its organizers decided it was time for a well-deserved break.

Thanks to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the 35th Week of Champions will be held next June.

The program provides a week of free sports clinics for area youth, who receive guidance and training from former professional athletes. The camps have put thousands of kids in contact with able instructors, who teach not only sports, but also deliver a Christian message.

Gary Wetherington founded the event three decades ago, when a trio of Atlanta Falcons, including Greg Brezina, visited Hilton Head Island to hold a football camp for 50 youngsters at Barker Field.

Last year, the camp accommodated more than 10 times as many kids in seven different sports at clinics that had expanded into Ridgeland, Hardeeville and Bluffton.

That growth took place under the stewardship of volunteers, the Wetheringtons and Brezinas most prominent among them.

Fortunately, Cary Corbitt, chairman of the organization's board, announced Tuesday that the organization would work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to continue providing area athletes the opportunity to grow athletically and spiritually.

The new arrangement means the camp has what amounts to its first paid staff member. The FCA has hired Chuck Workman as a part-time employee. More changes are likely, though Corbitt said the camps would continue to be free and emphasize a Christian message.

That's a fitting legacy for the Wetheringtons and the Brezinas.