Riddell Awards $100,000 in Gear to Smart Football Programs
9 Nov, 2015
With increased focus on athlete safety, particularly head injuries in football, helmet manufacturer Riddell announced its first Smarter Football program award recipients.
Seven teams received a combined total of $100,000 in equipment grants for helping build a smarter, safer game.
“Success in football is no longer measured solely by how many points you score on game day,” Riddell officials said. “It's now gauged by how coaches, players, administrators and leagues integrate advanced technology and innovation into every facet of their programs.”
Programs across the country, from youth clubs just mastering the basics to more experienced semi-pro squads playing at the highest level of competition, took part in sharing their stories.
“Hundreds of compelling entries showcased team's unique approach to football and seven of those programs stood out in demonstrating how a smarter game spans far beyond winning and losing,” officials said.
Riddell created the Smarter Football initiative to bring together the broader football community and promote smarter tactics both on and off the field. Players, coaches, administrators, parents and fans at all levels of play were called on to join the movement by incorporating the latest tools, teachings and techniques into their programs.
The recipients of the 2015 Riddell Smarter Football equipment grants are:
- Juniata Thundercats (Philadelphia, PA)
- Boyne City Ramblers (Boyne City, MI)
- Ypsilanti Panthers (Ypsilanti, MI)
- Pioneer Titans (Whittier, CA)
- Natick Redhawks (Natick, MA)
- 101 Warriors (Westlake, CA)
- Jensen Beach Falcons (Jensen Beach, FL)
Among the winning entries were teams whose coaches provide off-field mentoring services and access to community involvement opportunities that build character in young athletes. Others use football as a means of teaching basic fundamentals like teamwork and exercise to underserved communities, but can hardly keep their program afloat because of economic hardships.
"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," said Riddell President Dan Arment. "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."