Seven football organizations are about to receive equipment from helmet manufacturer Riddell through the company's Smarter Football Commitment.
The groups - located in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and California - will have equipment donated to them by Riddell in the $100,000 program.
Representatives of each organization were asked to demonstrate how a grant would strengthen their commitment to fostering a smarter game. From youth clubs just mastering the basics of the sport to semi-pro teams, the presentations were impressive, said Allison MacGregor, director of brand strategy and marketing for Riddell.
''It was inspiring to see how thorough and enthusiastic applicants were,'' MacGregor said. ''Grant essays not only shared the unique stories of their respective programs, but many went so far as to include references to research and proudly spotlight best practices demonstrated by other area programs that their own teams were aspiring to. The seven programs that received a grant stood out from these hundreds of entries for their dedication to advancing the game through better, safer policies and practices.''
All youth, secondary and college programs were eligible to apply for a Smarter Football Grant this summer. Each grant applicant was required to provide basic information about his or her program. In addition, each applicant was required to describe the state of the team's equipment and complete a short essay that communicated how an equipment grant would strengthen his or her team's commitment to Smarter Football.
Those winning organizations are:
-Juniata Thundercats Youth Organization (Philadelphia). Approximately 150 players ages 5-16;
-Boyne City Ramblers (Michigan). More than 200 players from Pop Warner through varsity;
-Ypsilanti Panthers (Michigan). Approximately 45 players;
-Pioneer High School Titans (Whittier, California). Approximately 150 players across freshman, JV and varsity teams;
-Natick Redhawks (Massachusetts). Approximately 190 players across six teams from grades 2-8;
-101 Warriors (Westlake, California). Approximately 32 players.
-Jensen Beach Falcons (Florida). Approximately 80 players across four teams, from tiny mites to Junior Midget.
''We're thrilled to recognize this year's Smarter Football grant winners for their commitment to building a stronger future for the sport and for their communities,'' Riddell President Dan Arment said. ''Riddell has a longstanding history of leveraging smarter tools and tactics to advance the game, and we're proud to provide a platform for the broader football community to showcase how they're making the game a safer, more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.''
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