The NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 announced the fifth year of the NFL Flag-In-Schools Program, which aims to increase physical activity among youth by providing Flag football resources to underserved school communities.
Since 2014, the partners’ efforts have resulted in 9.1 million students becoming more active before, during and after school through NFL Flag-In-Schools. During the 2019-2020 school year, nearly 4,200 NFL Flag Kits will be distributed nationwide, reaching approximately 2.3 million new students. The expansion was made possible by a renewed commitment from the NFL Foundation, amounting to nearly $1.5 million.
There is interest in and demand for such turnkey solutions to engage students in physical education. Flag-In-Schools is a resource for schools and PE teachers, both scalable and sustainable, and inspires students, including boys and girls, to be physically active daily.
“Since 2014, when this ground-breaking partnership was announced between the NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60, we have provided over 16,000 school communities with Flag Football equipment to equip and engage students in fun physical activity before, during and after school,” said GENYOUth CEO Alexis Glick.
“Flag Football is the fastest growing youth sport across the country. We are proud that we have had a direct impact on the love of the game and the adoption in school communities thanks to the incredible support of the NFL and all 32 NFL teams,” Glick added. According to a white paper issued by the Aspen Institute, participation among kids 6-12 is up 39 percent, more than any other team sport.
“The NFL is constantly seeking to enhance the football experience for participants as well as fans,” said Dawn Aponte, NFL senior vice president, football operations and chief football administrative officer. “The NFL FLAG-In-Schools program has provided access and opportunities for participants of all ages and abilities to develop their passion for football while staying active. We also greatly appreciate NFL Legends who have engaged with participating schools throughout the country.”
New for the 2019-2020 school year, high schools nationwide will be invited to apply for kits, with a focus on growing female participation in the game. The evolution of the existing curriculum will include a female focus with the support of Shape America and guidance from USA Football, advancing Flag-In-Schools nationwide to inspire more young athletes and families to enjoy the fun and fitness of football. USA Football is the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Jayne Greenberg, project director U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, said, “The NFL FLAG-In-Schools program continues to grow at leaps and bounds and provide opportunities for our nation’s youth to learn and play football in a fun and engaging way. When educators open the curriculum this year, they’ll find a brand-new supplemental resource to address opportunities for students with disabilities and offer different options for activation and increasing opportunity for physical activity. With more than 6 million students in the U.S. with disabilities, it is important that this program acknowledge, embrace, and provide access for all students.”
In the coming school year, 100 percent of school-based Boys and Girls Clubs of America will have FLAG-In-Schools kits enabling increased opportunities for students to be physically active after school in addition to the school day.
Plus, this year the program has added online tools and resources for PE teachers and coaches. The NFL FLAG-In-Schools program administered an in-person training for 200 educators at AdventHealth Training Center, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, during SHAPE America’s National Convention in Tampa, FL, where more than 5,000 PE teachers are assembling this week.
More information is available at FuelUpToPlay60.com.