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The NFL, all 32 clubs and the Legends Youth Advisory Committee collaborated with national nonprofit Good Sports to identify schools and youth programs to each receive $7,000 in brand new football gear. Collectively, $589,000 in equipment will be donated to high-need communities.
“By providing equipment to youth and high school football teams in selected areas, Good Sports is continuing to remove access barriers,” said Roman Oben, NFL Vice President of Youth and High School Football. “All 32 NFL clubs nominated local schools for football equipment donations. Every child, no matter the circumstance, should have the access to play the game of football.”
Financial concerns have been a barrier to participation in youth sports, and by providing community programs and high-risk schools with brand new equipment — for free — Good Sports is able to get more kids into the game. Each NFL club and every member of the Legends Youth Advisory Committee selected two high schools or youth programs each to receive the new equipment.
Launched at the 2019 NFL Draft, the Legends Youth Advisory Committee assists and guides efforts to preserve and grow youth and high school football through peer-to-peer engagement. NFL Legends Mark Brunell, Nate Burleson, Trent Dilfer, Maurice Jones-Drew, Willie McGinest, Jordan Palmer, Chad Pennington, Michael Robinson, Deion Sanders and Bobby Taylor comprise the committee, which also generates conversations with youth and high school football communities on the values learned from playing football.
“At Good Sports, we believe that cost should not be a barrier for participation in sports and fitness activities,” said Melissa Harper, CEO and co-founder of Good Sports. “By partnering with the NFL and its clubs, we are able to provide equipment to give kids in need in 32 cities around the country a chance to play. This access is critical as the benefits of sports are proven to help kids develop socially, emotionally, physically and academically. Simply put, kids who play do better and by bringing great partners together, we can make play possible for more children.”
To qualify for the grant, the schools had to have a majority of their student body on free or reduced lunch.
“This equipment has afforded our student-athletes with quality gear needed to participate safely in the sport of football,” said coach Demetrios Vrettos of donation recipient JS Morton High School in Berwyn, IL. “In years past, torn pants and girdles were distributed to our participants because our program did not have the means to suit up the entire team with quality gear. We now have the capacity to provide a satisfactory experience for our student-athletes.”
Good Sports gives kids the lifelong benefits of sport and physical activity by providing equipment, apparel and footwear to those most in need. By the close of 2018, Good Sports’ all-time impact came to more than $40 million in donated sports equipment, impacting more than 6 million kids from more than 4,200 youth programs across the country. Good Sports has been awarded a coveted 4-star rating six consecutive times from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator, for sound fiscal management, transparency and accountability; is a Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance accredited charity; and is listed on Social Impact Exchange’s S&I 100, an index of top American nonprofits creating meaningful social impact. To learn more or to get involved, please visit www.goodsports.org.