CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is encouraging fans to get heart-healthy Saturday morning at Champions Sports Performance in Cornelius, and it’s all for a good cause.
Starting at 9 a.m., Olsen and a few of his teammates will be available for a meet-and-greet, with an organized workout starting at 10 a.m.
Adults and children are welcome. Olsen is asking for is a donation to his foundation, Receptions for Research.
“I think it will be fun and a cool way to raise money for the foundation,” Olsen said by phone Friday.
It’s a cause near to Olsen’s heart. Shortly after his son, TJ, was born with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, Olsen and his wife, Kara, partnered with Levine Children’s Hospital to form the HEARTest Yard initiative.
The goal of the HEARTest yard is to help families with children affected by congenital heart defects adjust to their new lives, providing services like in-home care, physical therapy and speech therapy.
“Our program is very tangible. It’s very easy to relate to," he said. "You can see the money go to work you can see what your money does for these kids. The services we’re providing for these families are life-changing.”
Olsen has been giving back to the Charlotte area since he first joined the Panthers in 2011. Earlier this month, the Pro Bowler signed a three-year contract extension to remain with the team.
“Charlotte is home for us, it’s going to be home for us, we’re going to raise our kids here," he said. "The community has been amazingly supportive of us and has really embraced us since we got here. We couldn’t be happier. We couldn’t feel more at home and it’s a big driving force behind our willingness to make a difference in this community.”
Champions Sports Performance is located at 18831 Statesville Rd. For more information call 704-439-1111.