Sometimes it’s a two-way street.

Take, for example, a special event at Ottawa’s TD Place. A group of kids, on a day trip from summer camp, got to mix and mingle with members of the Ottawa REDBLACKS and the Ottawa Fury FC.

They might not have known all the names, but for the kids there was something magical about being in the presence of professional athletes, playing, getting autographs, and touring the inner sanctum of their dressing room. “That is so awesome,” enthused a young camper named Vienna. “I didn’t know this was going to happen when we came to camp. So this is super cool!”

It was inspirational for the athletes as well, because these kids are from Camp Quality – a special summer camp for children living with cancer. Camp volunteers include doctors, nurses, and others specially trained to care for the campers’ needs.

“This is what’s important,” says REDBLACKS quarterback Trevor Harris. “These kids are really awesome, and I’m just glad that they took time out of their day to come visit with us.”

“When you see the smiles on all these kids’ faces it kind of puts things into perspective as a professional athlete,” adds Ottawa Fury defender Eddie Edward.

There was no talk of illness on this day. In fact, the whole point of Camp Quality is to try to give the campers a reprieve from their health concerns. “That’s kind of our motto is just let kids be kids for a week and get away from that other stuff,” says Camp Director Glenn Mooney.

For one day there was simply excitement, wonder, and admiration, and perhaps a little mutual inspiration as both children and athletes face their respective challenges tomorrow.