ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Wednesday the University of New Mexico hosted an “Extraordinary Lobos” camp for children with special abilities. UNM head football coach Danny Gonzales has been actively fighting for inclusion with children that have special abilities, and he’s glad the camp was finally able to happen.
“We’re big on inclusion, and I’m fighting for the day where inclusion is the expectation,” said UNM football coach Danny Gonzales. “My wife has wanted to do a camp like this since we had [our daughter]. They don’t have disabilities, they have different abilities. We all have different abilities, and today, we had some wonderful kids out here.”
The children participated in various drills, including an obstacle course, throwing competition, 20 yard dash and ultimate football. UNM football and soccer players were in attendance to assist the children and play along side them throughout the day.
“It’s awesome to see all the smiles on their faces running and stuff like that,” Lobo football player Luke Wysong said. “It really put a smile on my face and a lot of my teammates faces. I was happy with it and I’m really looking forward to next year doing this and hope the event grows and gets bigger and we can get more kids out here to raise more awareness.”
“What’s important is all our football players can realize that they can employ all these children one day, they can work together. It was great to see them help kids be successful.”
Including children with special abilities is a cause that Gonzales is passionate about, and he’s thankful to have a platform to spread awareness on the topic. He worked along side the Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network to help create this year’s event, and he hopes it will continue to grow moving forward.