NEW YORK, April 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The NFL, GENYOUth, Fuel Up to Play 60 and Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) announced the return of GENYOUth's NFL FLAG-In-Schools (FIS) and the opening of the program's national application for the 2021-2022 school year. Starting today, educators can apply for a FREE NFL FIS kit to enhance their physical education curriculum and equipment. Applications will close Wednesday, May 19th.
NFL FLAG-In-Schools continues to increase through a renewed commitment of $1.5 million from the NFL Foundation. A total of 28,000 kits have been provided to U.S. schools since 2014 engaging an estimated 13 million students to become more active before, during and after school.
NFL FIS is coming at a critical time as COVID-related school disruptions have left millions of kids at home and severely limited their access to sports, increasing the level of interest in turn-key solutions for student engagement in physical activity. Scalable and sustainable, NFL FLAG-In-Schools is a proven resource that inspires boys and girls to participate in school-based sports.
The program's positive impact on girls has been especially significant with schools reporting increased female students' participation in physical activity, and even a movement toward girls flag as a varsity sport due to NFL FIS. Research shows girls are at greater risk than boys of falling short of physical activity guidelines, with girls twice as likely as boy to drop out of sports when they reach middle school.
NFL FIS is building on the success of previous years with new and engaging program elements.
NERF Belts and Footballs
- Global play and entertainment company Hasbro, Inc. will supply iconic NERF footballs and flag belts to the NFL FIS kits, infusing the equipment with a new level of flexibility, size and softness.
- 30 new online videos will teach students the fundamentals of flag football. Each lesson will close with a nutrition tip of the day, taken from "101 Tips for Incorporating Nutrition in PE," an informational resource created by Midwest Dairy and SHAPE America.
- A dual English-Spanish language "Rules of the Game" resource, to be introduced in conjunction with the NFL's celebration of Spanish Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, will help more parents familiarize themselves with the NFL FIS program.
Expanded Program Reach
- NFL FIS will continue to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), providing kits to nearly 200 clubs selected by BGCA on Native Lands and introducing 90,000 Native youth in American Indian, Alaskan Native, American Samoan and Hawaiian tribal communities to flag football.
- NFL FIS is forging a three-year partnership with Special Olympics, which will provide kits to Special Olympics Unified Sports® coaches and Unified physical education teachers who offer flag football instruction within Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools®*.
NFL FLAG-In-Schools Coach of the Year Contest
- To highlight the positive impact of physical education on students, a national contest will be launched for back to school to honor these unsung school heroes. More details will be provided in the months ahead.
"Since 2014, GENYOUth has been committed to NFL FLAG-In-Schools, and the millions of students who enthusiastically participate every year are a testament to the success and effectiveness of this program," said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth. "This school year, more than ever, NFL FLAG-In-Schools will create much-needed opportunities for millions of students to come back together and discover the fun and benefits of physical activity after a year and a half of limited to no exposure to team sports."
"The NFL Foundation is proud to partner with GENYOUth, Fuel Up to Play 60 and Reigning Champs Experiences to provide these high-quality resources," said Alexia Gallagher, NFL Vice President of Philanthropy and Executive Director of NFL Foundation. "We know that children, having been displaced from the classroom and their normal routines, are craving the opportunity to engage again in in-person team-based activities when they return to school later this year. We hope these kits will provide a sense of renewed excitement for the 2021-2022 school year."
"Reigning Champs Experiences prides itself on our commitment to making sports accessible to all athletes," said Izell Reese, NFL FLAG Executive Director and GM of RCX. "As the official operating partner of NFL FLAG, RCX works to continue that mission and ensure that the game of flag football is available to athletes across the country."
Summing up the appeal and value of NFL FIS, a physical education teacher from an elementary school in East Salisbury, Maryland, said: "Our kids are always asking when we're going to play. With NFL FLAG-In-Schools, they are ready to go. They love it and it's been really great for the students and our school."
To learn more about NFL FLAG-In-Schools, or to find or start an NFL FLAG league in your community, visit flag.genyouthnow.org. For NFL FLAG-In-Schools updates and more, follow @nflflag, @GENYOUthNow and @FUTP60 on Twitter. And use hashtag #PlayFootball to share your stories of NFL FLAG-In-Schools best practices and positive youth development.
* NFL FIS is proud to support the goals of Unified Champion Schools, which is promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting system-wide change with sports as the foundation, currently in 8,000 schools across the U.S. A unique combination of activities will equip young people with tools and training to create sports, classrooms and school climates of acceptance. Learn more about Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools and the Unified Generation here.
About The NFL Foundation
The National Football League Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation and its members, the 32 NFL clubs, support the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit: www.NFLFoundation.org.
GENYOUth is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that creates healthier school communities. We convene a network of private and public partners, including Fortune 100 companies and foundations, to raise funds for youth wellness initiatives that give youth the inspiration, motivation, and programs to be healthy high-achieving students. GENYOUth's fastest growing program with over 24,000+ school communities reaching over 13 million students. For more information, visit www.GENYOUthNow.org.
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), which was founded by America's dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.
About NFL FLAG
NFL FLAG is an NFL-licensed property of more than 1,600 locally operated leagues and over 500,000 youth athletes across all 50 states. NFL FLAG is a fun and accessible non-contact program available for girls and boys ages 5-17. Players benefit by being physically active through non-contact, continuous action while learning the fundamentals of football as well as lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship. Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) is the official operator of NFL FLAG.
About Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX)
Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) is the premier youth-sports experiences business, running and operating leagues, camps, combines, tournaments, and events.
RCX works with professional leagues, national governing bodies, sports-centric businesses, and brands to reimagine youth sports experiences. RCX produces events with world-class partners including the NFL, Jr. NBA, NAIA, Rivals.com and the 2022 World Games. We believe sports have the power to transform lives and that every athlete should have the opportunity to experience the value of sports. For more information, visit www.rcxexperiences.com.