Inspirational Speakers and Coaches Featured at TPHS Foundation Youth Summer Speed ​​Camp

Captain Sarah Bettencourt (USMC, retired) came to Torrey Pines High School on July 11 to engage 105 young athletes ages 8-17 on the importance of having a positive attitude and mindset to mentally overcome challenges physical.

“You can achieve and accomplish just about anything if you say you can.” Bettencourt was training as a helicopter pilot when a rare neurological disorder forced her into medical retirement in 2012. With her ever-changing and sometimes very severe symptoms, Bettencourt struggled to regain her place in society. until she was introduced to adaptive sports, where she realized by adapting equipment and technique, she could accomplish anything. Since then, Bettencourt has founded the San Diego Ducks Sled Hockey, been a seven-time defenseman for the USA Women’s Sledge Hockey Team, co-captain of the USA Parasurf Team and is a two-time World Champion. title of the women’s parasurf team. Prone 1 division.

“I love being able to talk to the kids about what happened to me. I was at the top of my game and failed to achieve what I wanted to do. I learned that falling was part of life. and that it was only me, or my thoughts, that could pick me up,” Bettencourt said. “I was told I couldn’t and told myself I could. which led to physical practice and repeating small movements over and over again until I was able to move my body again.

Marty Graham giving instructions in the weight room.

(Courtesy of the TPHS Foundation)

Deftly maneuvering his wheelchair from side to side of the boardroom, Bettencourt captivated the young athletes by showcasing his adapted sled and explaining his physical strength on the ice during hockey games. She also engaged campers by asking them questions and encouraged athletes to ask her questions. The last question from a camper was, “If you could go back to when you were able-bodied, would you?” to which Bettencourt replied with a straight face: “No, I learned to overcome so many things in my life thanks to this. I’ve learned that I can do anything with my mind and I’m much tougher and stronger than I was back then. I wouldn’t want my life to be any different.

Marty Graham, Professional Coach and Camp Operator, of Solana Beach, said: “It is extremely important for young people to understand that roadblocks come naturally in life, and sometimes very big ones. It will be your mind and your attitude that will allow you to overcome these obstacles and move forward.

The TPHS Foundation Youth Speed ​​Camp was established by former TPHS athletes Marty Graham and Zephyr Fletcher as a fundraiser for the TPHS Classroom and Student Enrichment Fund in 2019. COVID-19 closed its second year in 2020 With community support, it resumed in 2021 and again in 2022, hitting record attendance. Fletcher commented, “We aim to bring kids together to inspire them to be lifelong athletes like Marty and me. I am extremely grateful to him, to our amazing coaches, Jesus Reyes and Marcus Parker and to our daily motivational speakers who came out to help. Fletcher continued, “Not only did we have Sarah Bettencourt speak, but we also had empowerment coaches, Deanna Nunez and Govindi Juneja.”

Nunez spoke at the July 12 speed camp and motivated campers to embrace their courage. She asked campers, “What happens when you doubt yourself? The children shared, “Your body is weak. No Energy. Your body language is droopy. Head down. Emotions are sad or in fear. She continued with “What happens when you experience courage?” The children replied, “Your body has energy. Your body language is strong. You feel you can do anything.

Deanna Nunez speaks to the athletes.

Deanna Nunez speaks to the athletes.

(Courtesy of the TPHS Foundation)

Nunez explained to them: “The brain is as smart as a whip! Yet sometimes our brain can tell us that we’re not good enough or that we don’t have the confidence to do something we dream of. Courage is the emotion I CAN.

Juneja, who focuses her coaching on the inner work of the child, was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak directly with the campers on July 13. She demonstrated and talked about a variety of breathing techniques, as well as meditation and yoga to release unprocessed emotions to strengthen the mind. , which is used to achieve a higher awareness of athletic potential. Fletcher said, “All three speakers captivated the young audience and were great additions to our camp this year.”

The daily camp schedule consisted of individualized workout coaching, conditioning with applied mechanics, weight room training, and competitive team building. Sprint camp coach Marcus Parker, 24, who is 14th in the nation in the 200-meter sprint and All American ACC Sprinter at Clemson University, said this about the camp: “It’s wonderful to see young athletes work together as a tight-knit group throughout the week, learning important values ​​in character and opening up to what can be versus what is.

To learn more about the TPHS Foundation, Speed ​​Camp or to donate, go to torreypinesfoundation.org. — Torrey Pines Foundation press release

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