TJ DOUGLAS - A "CHAMP"

Elon men's basketball player TJ Douglas has been sharing his love of athletics and passion
for developing healthy lifestyles in children through a program he founded
called CHAMPS - Coaching Health and Mentoring Positive Students. T.J. Douglas is the son of Tim & Kim Douglas from Teays Valley. T.J. is a 2006 St. Albans High School graduate.

 
Douglas, with assistance from his mentor, Elon professor Elizabeth Bailey, successfully ran his first CHAMPS program during the month of April. The CHAMPS curriculum features six hour-and-a-half sessions over the course of three weeks and is open to fourth and fifth grade boys in area schools. Each session incorporates an educational component with a sports section while also promoting the development of a mentor relationship between a college male student and an elementary school student.

This year, 16 local boys took part in CHAMPS, all from different areas and with various skill levels. Each child was paired with a college mentor based on questionnaires that both filled out.

"The mentor program was an important piece of CHAMPS," stated Douglas. "We wanted to make sure that each student had enough individual attention and was able to develop a relationship with an older male that he could look up to."

Throughout the six sessions, the boys worked on sports skills related to football, basketball, ultimate Frisbee, baseball and lacrosse. Phoenix student-athletes from the football program and basketball team were able to participate in those specific sessions to put the boys through stations and skill routines. During the education component, the group learned about topics such as proper nutrition, peer pressure, positive self-talk, team building and goal setting.

Douglas came up with CHAMPS after learning of Bailey's mentor program for girls, Girls in Motion. Bailey started this mentor program in 2006 to help elementary and middle school girls with self-image and self-esteem.

"The idea for CHAMPS came about because there wasn't a program like this for young boys in the area," Douglas explained. "Professor Bailey and I wanted to give local boys the opportunity to learn how to live a healthy, active lifestyle, while also gaining sports skill knowledge and confidence at the same time."

"Not only did the kids have fun throughout the process, but you could really see their confidence levels increase as they learned new skills."