Partnership will launch new NFL FLAG leagues at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country
The NFL and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are partnering to remove access barriers and increase flag football participation across the country. Through the partnership, more than 100,000 kids and teens, both boys and girls, ages 6-18 will be introduced to the fundamentals of flag football and join the NFL FLAG powered by USA Football community.
The NFL, with the support of all 32 Clubs, will provide annual grants to 400 local Boys & Girls Club locations. Boys & Girls Clubs will receive equipment, support for field maintenance, training for coaches and officials, and program materials. The grants will promote and support individual Boys & Girls Clubs in developing programs to make their Community Clubhouse the local destination for flag football. Locations will include local Boys & Girls Clubs, school-based Clubs, Native American Reservations and Boys & Girls Club-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. Military Installations.
“Creating opportunities for young people to participate in team sports helps build skills that can lead to an active, healthy life,” said Jim Clark, president & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “We’re proud to partner with the NFL to ignite kids’ passion for sports, teach healthy habits and build leadership skills than can last a lifetime.”
The partnership will not only teach participants on-field aspects of the game but will provide an opportunity for students to join a new NFL FLAG Teen Officials Program, a skills development and work-based learning opportunity that prepares teens to serve as flag football officials at their local Boys & Girls Clubs and broader communities. The free training program will introduce 1,000 teens around the country to careers in sports and provide them with official certification. The NFL will provide additional funding for stipends to trained, qualified teen officials during NFL FLAG season.
“Flag football provides kids of all ages an entry point into the game and a venue to learn valuable life skills and lessons that will translate well beyond the football field,” said Natara Holloway, NFL vice president of youth and high school football. “We’re proud to team with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to offer more opportunities and access to NFL FLAG and positively impact thousands of kids across the country through football.”
The partnership kicked off during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton, OH during the Play Football Summer Season Clinic on Friday Aug. 3. More than 200 kids ages 11 -14 from local Boys & Girls Clubs were introduced to the game of flag football from USA Football certified coaches. In addition to learning from certified coaches, the young athletes were joined on the field by Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Legends and Boys & Girls Club of America Alumni Willie McGinest and Andre Reed, and members of the American Flag Football League (AFFL).
Through support from the NFL and Clubs, League partners are also providing assistance and equipment to grow the game of flag football at the youth & high school level. Xenith, the Detroit-based protective equipment design company, will play a pivotal role in providing support to growing NFL FLAG leagues with football equipment and enlisting employee volunteers to help improve the quality of the sports experience. Outerstuff and Wilson Sporting Goods will also support the growth of NFL FLAG by providing flag equipment and footballs.