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The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Colt's Andrew Luck guards a participant at Sunday's Change the Play camp at Saint Francis. Participants worked with Luck and experts from Riley Children's Health to learn how to make good decisions when it comes to overall wellness.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Colts quarterback Andrew Luck cracks a big smile as he steals a hat from 8-year-old Carson Wulpi during Sunday’s Change the Play camp at Saint Francis.

Monday, June 12, 2017 1:00 am

Luck still makes time for kids

Colts' QB at healthy youth event as he recovers from shoulder surgery

Austin Candor | The Journal Gazette

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck took center stage Sunday morning at Bishop D'Arcy Stadium to play co-host the Change the Play camp, along with Riley Children's Hospital, for 250 boys and girls at Saint Francis.

The two sessions put on by Luck and the children's hospital emphasized a variety of factors that lead to a healthy, athletic lifestyle at a young age in nutrition, hydration and agility. Whether it was running down a football or doing a set of pushups, kids in attendance were encouraged to keep active.

“It's great to see the kids come out and have fun … The 'Change the Play', the sort of getting ahead of your health, has been phenomenal,” Luck said of the program, which is in its fifth year. “We're in schools, we're in homes, we're online. I encourage any family to check it out.”

While Luck's main focus for the morning and afternoon came on keeping kids active and hydrated, questions still surrounded his on-going rehab.

The 27-year old underwent shoulder surgery this past January to repair a nagging injury that had affected the quarterback's play since 2015. While Luck hasn't thrown since the surgery, he said he still feels confident in being ready for opening day.

“I feel very good, I'm still in the middle of the rehab process. It's a long, patient one,” Luck said of his recovery. “I'm just worried about the next rehab session on Monday. That's the approach I've taken.”

Sunday marked the second time Luck has come to Saint Francis. Fellow Colts quarterback Stephen Morris and Saint Francis football players were also in attendance.

The three-time Pro Bowler and Riley Children's Hospital have also brought their Change the Play camps to other areas in Indiana, including Bloomington, Evansville and South Bend.

“We're really trying to tell the whole story,” Riley Children's Hospital chief medical officer Dr. Paul Haut said of Change the Play. “We try to do it in a way that's fun, where (kids) get to interact with all these amazing athletes and Andrew … It's been really meaningful.”

After the Colts selected him in the first round of the 2012 draft, Luck immediately knew he wanted to get involved with the Indianapolis community, and Riley Hospital was a perfect fit.

“I remember when I was a kid … just going to camp with high school athletes was a big, big deal. Those were heroes of mine,” Luck said. “I think it's an obligation of us as professional athletes, as college athletes, understanding that we do have a platform and to try and make that platform positive.”

Apart from being one of the NFL's top quarterbacks, Luck also puts an emphasis on academics. When he's not on the field, Luck is visiting local hospitals to help kids with their homework while also running his own book club.

As a 2012 Stanford graduate, Luck serves as a role model to student-athletes.

“He's a good example. He's coming out here to help us play,” said 10-year old Dylan Krupp as he took a breather from Sunday's activities.