UNM football kicks off Extraordinary Lobos Day Camp

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico football team kicked off the first-ever Extraordinary Lobos Day Camp Wednesday, for children with disabilities.

Head Coach Danny Gonzales said the new summer program is near and dear to his heart, and his wife has been wanting to put on an event like this since their young daughter was born with Down syndrome.

“We’re big on inclusion, and I’m fighting for the day when inclusion is the expectation,” he said. “This little one right here has changed a lot for us, but it’s great because we have a platform to be able to help in any way we can.”

Wednesday’s activities started with an obstacle course, followed by football drills, a throwing competition, and a 20-yard dash.

“We had a young man out here with a wheelchair that did an outstanding job,” Gonzales said.

KOB 4 also talked to 22-year-old Nicholas Licon, who said he had been to multiple Lobo camps before, but none like this. 

“I learned teamwork, and I learned discipline,” he said. “I think it’s important to have events like this so that you get experience and so that you can hopefully learn something.”

Coach Gonzales said the camp was also a good learning experience for players who volunteered to help.

“They can work together,” he said. “It was good to see them help kids be successful.”

Just like a lot of things in the realm of UNM athletics, this event was a team effort, with local businesses donating t-shirts and food for the happy campers.

Gonzales said he is already looking forward to the next Extraordinary Lobos camp, and watching the program grow.