Deshea Townsend

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2011

Deshea Townsend (right) greets camp goers at his Pay It Forward Football Camp last year. Instead of returning to Batesville a player, Townsend returns as an assistant defensive back coach for the Arizona Cardinals this year. File Photo

Townsend returns to host 12th football camp

Deshea Townsend will sponsor his 12th annual Football Camp, Cheerleading Clinic, and Health Fair on Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Football Camp and Cheerleading Clinic, open to boys and girls ages 7-18 (2nd – 12th grade), will be conducted at the South Panola High School Stadium.

The Health Fair, also open to the public, will be held at Batesville Middle School, adjacent to the stadium. Once again, health screenings will be offered at the Health Fair. The Camp, Clinic, Health Fair and health screenings are Free. Lunch, beverages, snacks, and a t-shirt will be provided to all children who attend the camp. Adults who attend the health screenings will also receive a free gift.

Townsend, a native of Batesville, played quarterback for the South Panola Tigers, helping to lead the team to an undefeated 15-0 record and the Mississippi State 5A championship in 1993. He continued his football career at the University of Alabama before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1998. Townsend played 12 seasons as a defensive back for the Steelers, earning two Super Bowl rings along the way. In the final year of his NFL career, he played for the Indianapolis Colts, and will make his coaching debut this season with the Arizona Cardinals as assistant defensive backs coach.

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Townsend is proud to partner with the Boys and Girls Club and the South Panola School District to bring his camp and health fair back to Batesville for the twelfth straight year. Once again he will be joined by former teammates to teach local children fundamental football skills, with an emphasis on good sportsmanship, academic success, respect, responsibility, and leadership. The health fair will provide them with information about healthy eating habits, nutrition, and how to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. The camp is designed to provide all of this in a safe, fun, and family-oriented atmosphere.

The Health Fair will also feature free health screenings provided by the staff of the Aaron E. Henry Health Center, assisted by members of Tri-Lakes Medical Center. These free health screenings are offered to campers, their families and anyone else who wants to participate. Townsend is a believer in the importance of receiving annual health screenings.

After losing his Mother to breast cancer over a decade ago, Townsend hopes that early detection of a serious medical condition can help others avoid the helpless feeling he had when his mother was diagnosed too late. He is determined to encourage everyone to not be afraid to get yearly health screenings, and by providing these screenings at his annual camps, eliminates the excuse to not get them. “No Fear, No Excuses” is his motto.

Children interested in attending the camp will need to have their parents pre-register them through the Boys and Girls Club at (662) 578-7309 by Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Additional authorization is also needed if the child is receiving any health screenings. Forms are available at the Boys and Girls Club, 630 Highway 51 S, Batesville, MS 38606, and also on the Pay It Forward website at Forms may be mailed to the Boys and Girls Club, or faxed to them at (662) 578-7304.

Adults interested in attending the health fair or health screening, do not need to pre-register.
For more information or to register, contact the Boys and Girls Club at (662) 578-7309, or register online at or visit, or email