Nick Fairley’s inaugural Lion Heart Charity Weekend to kick off

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley, is seen on the bench area during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns in Detroit, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley, is seen on the bench area during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns in Detroit, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

MOBILE, Ala. (WIAT) – Mobile-native and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley is focused and anticipating what he believes will be an impact season but, alongside his professional goals, Fairley says he is committed to giving back to his community.

The inaugural weekend of events will take place June 21 – 22. Over 500 participants have signed up for the Lion Heart Football and Cheerleading Camp. 

CBS42.com’s sister site in Mobile, fox10tv.com, spoke with the third-year NFL veteran about the event.

Q: How did the “Lion Heart Football and Cheerleading Camp” come about?

NF: Mobile is my hometown, and my community has showed me so much support growing up and now, in my professional NFL career, and I wanted to show my appreciation. To whom much is given, much is required and I have been blessed with so many great opportunities, it’s only right to give back. Football is what I know and what I’m passionate about. The game has taught me so much about life that I want to provide the same opportunities for other children.

I came up with the name “Lion Heart” because I started as a Williamson Lion, and after putting much hard work and my heart into my craft, I ended up a Detroit Lion. 

Q: Will this become an annual event? 

NF: My dream is to make the Lion Heart Charity weekend an annual event and continue to provide the children of Mobile the opportunity to learn football and cheerleading fundamentals from talented and professional men and women. 

Q: Will there be any resources available for local youth throughout the year?

NF: This year, we’re donating $10,000 to the Williamson High School football program. In the future, we are looking forward to developing programs and providing resources for the youth in the Greater Mobile community that will expand beyond the charity weekend.

Q: What impact do you hope “Lion Heart Football and Cheerleading Camp” will have on the community?

NF: Through my camp, I hope to contribute to the increase of young men and women becoming student leaders and later on assist in the development of more professional athletes coming out of the Mobile area. 

Q: With a new season coming up, what have you worked on most during the off-season?

NF: During this off season, I have worked on getting back to 110%; being the guy my team can rely on, providing energy and optimism in tough situations.

Q: What are your goals for the upcoming season, both personally and professionally?

NF: During this upcoming season, I’m trying to become one part of the best defensive tackle team in the NFL and win an NFC championship.

Q: As a Mobile native, what do you want your legacy to be?

NF: I want my legacy to be progress; similar to the principal of progression athletes are taught when training. In sports we’re taught that a steady, deliberate increase in training will yield the results you want. Progressive training reduces injuries, prevents extreme soreness and strengthens the muscles around the bones so that they can adapt to the pressure put on them.

I want to be remembered for my efforts to reduce “injuries and hardships” in my community through resources I can provide based on what I’ve been blessed with. I want my efforts to keep kids off the streets and doing something positive. It’s my dream to strengthen the ties in my community so that it can adapt to the pressures of a changing world.

He played collegiate football for Auburn University and is a graduate of Williamson High School in Mobile, Ala. Fairley was recognized as an All-American, and was a member of the 2010 Auburn BCS Championship team. He was drafted by the Lions in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

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