The NFL Youth Football Fund (YFF) has awarded $600,000 to 214 NFL players and coaches to support their free youth football camps, it was announced today.
Oakland Raiders WR Jacoby Ford, SS Tyvon Branch, DL Desmond Bryant, DB Brandon Underwood, and FB Marcel Reece all participated in this program.
The camps, run by former and current NFL players and coaches, will reach more than 55,000 young football players this summer.
"Summer camps are a great way for children to keep active, build confidence and learn important skills," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who serves on the NFL Youth Football Fund board of directors. "We are pleased to support our players' philanthropic efforts that promote physical fitness and healthy lifestyles in young people."
The NFL has long supported players' philanthropic endeavors, and the NFL Youth Football Fund has awarded more than $4.3 million in player and coach camp grants since 1998.
"The NFL Youth Football Fund provides our players and their coaches with valuable resources to make a positive impact in their communities," said NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. "The NFLPA applauds this program's efforts to ensure each camp includes an educational component on player health and safety."
The YFF is working with USA Football to offer coaches affiliated with the 2012 NFL Player & Coaches Football Camp Grant programs a free, online health and safety resource. The USA Football *Coach Smart *youth health and safety awareness initiative provides coaches with information regarding concussion awareness and management as well as heat and hydration preparedness. Created specifically for the YFF's Camp Grant program by USA Football, the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 clubs and the national governing body of youth and amateur football, this online resource features health and safety elements adapted from USA Football's coaching certification courses. Before their camp begins, coaches are required to watch informational videos and answer questions that are designed to test their knowledge on these important topics.
Also as part of the Camp Grant program, the YFF offered players and coaches the opportunity to partner with USA Football and its FUNdamentals program which is designed to provide player and coach camp hosts with turn-key and ready-to-execute, non-contact youth football camps in their communities. All skills and drills are selected based on USA Football's Player Progression Development Model, ensuring that participants learn age-appropriate football fundamentals in an enjoyable and safe environment. USA Football provides (among other benefits) FUNdamentals curriculum and an event operations guide, coaches manual, a registration website, camp insurance, camper t-shirts and access to on-site certified athletic trainers. The USA Football FUNdamentals program is an official program of NFL PLAY 60 – the NFL's campaign to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes a day in order to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity.
About the NFL Youth Football Fund
Established in 1998 by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the NFL Youth Football Fund (YFF) uses football as a catalyst to promote positive youth development, support youth and high school football needs nationwide and ensure the health of amateur football participation. Through the YFF's youth football initiatives and support programs, young athletes are provided with opportunities to learn the game of football, get physically fit and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors. The YFF also provides youngsters with safe and accessible places to play, as well as programs and initiatives that address the importance of proper coaching, health and safety and life skills development. For more information, visit http://www.nflyff.org/.