BRACKNEY, PA – (WIVT/WBGH) Children at a Brackney sports camp will learn the importance of mental wellness thanks to some of the nation’s most elite athletes.
On August 5, The Susquehannock Camp is hosting an appearance from three-time Paralympic alpine skier, Tyler Carter. He will be working to educate the campers on the values of mental wellness, body image, and conflict resolution. At the age of one, Carter lost his right leg below the knee due to a congenital condition known as Fibular Hemimelia. Not letting this deter him, he was active in various sports as a kid before discovering his love of alpine skiing. Carter, who dreamed of representing Team USA, was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Games. Four years later, he was named to the United States Paralympic team and would go on to compete in Sochi, Russia. Since then, he has participated in three Paralympics, World Cups, and competed in the 2015 World Championships. Carter is amongst many other athletes invited to the camps month-long effort to develop both the children’s physical and mental health.
Joining Carter are eight other athletes who have all overcome challenges to achieve their goals. They will discuss a variety of topics including leadership, resilience, sportsmanship, nutrition, and more. Guest coaches include:
Amara Mbionwu: Mbionwu is the current captain of the Team USA Netball Team where she plays the goal shooter/attack and goalkeeper positions on her team. As a young athlete she played soccer before transitioning to basketball, playing all of the way through her senior year of college at Columbia University. Mbionwu was introduced to Netball while earning her master’s degree at Adelphi University.
Chris Mazdzer: Mazdzer is a member of Team USA and four-time Olympian. He made history at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang when he won a silver medal, the first of any color for a U.S. man in singles luge. Mazdzer has competed in nine World Championships and was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2018. He is an Athlete Mentor for Classroom Champions, a non-profit organization partnering Olympic and Paralympic athletes with students and teachers in under-served communities.
Sid Looney: Looney was a member of the vasity Men’s Lacrosse team for Washington College, where he specialized as an offensive midfielder. He played in the 2013 and 2014 NCAA tournaments and holds the record for most goals scored in a Centennial Conference Championship game ever, totaling seven.
Abby Raymond: Raymond is a weightlifting champion, holding 16 Youth American records. She has represented Team USA in five different international competitions and has won multiple youth world championships.
Barry Gonzales: Gonzales has been coaching basketball since the 1990s, currently serving as coach for Harlem United AAU and Manhattan Community College. He was the head coach for at The United Nations International School and is a certified coach with both USA Basketball and USA Track & Field.
Mickey Morandini: Morandini played major league baseball for 11 seasons and was a member of the National League All-Star team in 1995. He coached for the Phillies from 2011 to 2017 and is currently a Phillies team ambassador.
Amobi Okugo: Okugo is a former professional soccer player, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and recipient of Forbes 30 under 30. He was drafted in the first round of the 2010 MLS Super Draft from UCLA and was a key player for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team from Under-14 to Under-23. Now, he is the founder of A Frugal Athlete, a media platform providing financial education to athletes. He also founded The Ok U Go Foundation to help provide athletic and educational opportunities to children from low-income backgrounds.
Morgan Shigo: Shigo is an elite hammer thrower currently training to represent Team USA on the World Championship and Olympic stages. He has competed at seven USA Championships, including the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials. He was a member of the Penn State Track and Field team from 2014 to 2019, competing in hammer throw, weight throw and shot put. For the Nittany Lions, he was a three-time First Team All-American, a Second Team All-American, and a Big Ten team and individual champion.
The Susquehannock Camps is partnering with TrueSport for this initiative. TrueSport is an educational organization employing Olympians, Paralympians, and professional athletes to share their personal experiences with youth in order to promote positive values on and off the field.
The Susquehannock Camps is an overnight multi-sport development camp focused on building confidence in children from ages 7 to 16. Campers are offered a variety of team and individual sports as they learn moral, social, and psychical skills. Other activities are offered such as overnight camping, lake swimming, arts and crafts, and more.