NFL Foundation, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 Extend Commitment to Youth Health and Wellness

NEW YORK, April 24, 2018 -- The NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 announced today 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 6.5 million students becoming more active before, during and after school through NFL FLAG-In-Schools. This year, nearly 5,000 NFL FLAG Kits will be distributed nationwide, reaching approximately 2.7 million new students. The expansion was made possible by a renewed commitment from the NFL Foundation, amounting to nearly $1.5 million.

"The NFL and its partners offer many resources to help ensure players at all levels enjoy the benefits of playing football. We are excited to expand the NFL FLAG-in-Schools program to offer more kids access to the game and the opportunity to learn and develop important values and skills in a school environment through flag football," said NFL Vice President of Youth and High School Football ROMAN OBEN.

"We are proud to partner with the NFL, the NFL Foundation and USA Football to extend our partnership and to bring this proven turn-key physical activity solution to more Fuel Up to Play 60 schools across the country," said LAUREN IZZO, Program Manager, GENYOUth. "NFL FLAG-In-Schools has inspired thousands of boys and girls across the country to be physically active and build a love for sport."

"NFL FLAG-In-Schools Kits will be provided to schools in the fall of the 2018-19 school year, with 30% of the kits being designated specifically for school-based Boys and Girls Clubs of America programs. The kits include footballs, flag belts, kicking tees, posters and a physical education (PE) curriculum designed by SHAPE America for elementary and middle school students. In conjunction with the national offer and the 2018 NFL Draft, educators can begin to apply for the NFL FLAG-In-Schools Kit this week via the Fuel Up to Play 60 website.

"We're pleased to continue to support the NFL FLAG-In-Schools program. USA Football is proud to provide kits that help the physical education teachers teach the fundamentals of flag football and foster the overall health and well-being of young athletes," said USA Football Director of Events BRITTNEY BROTHERS.

Digital NFL FLAG-In-Schools training modules, including video-based instructions, are available free of charge to PE teachers nationwide and provide educators access to the training. The modules follow the curriculum developed by USA Football and SHAPE America that meets national standards for continuing education. Teachers can easily access the training modules via SHAPE America's Online Institute. The modules serve as a helpful resource for "first timers" who are new to the program as well as a refresher for those who have attended an in-person training in the past or have already implemented the FLAG kits into their schools. In addition, the NFL FLAG-In-Schools program will administer in-person training opportunities in select markets and expand to offer an interactive session at SHAPE America's National Convention in April 2019 in Tampa, FL.

The program has seen notable success since its inception in 2014, including:

  • Seventy-one percent of recipients are high-need schools: 40% or more of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals based on household income;
  • Ninety-eight percent of teachers reported using the kits in their PE class with nearly half (47%) also using them after school; and
  • Earlier this year, PE teachers who previously received NFL FLAG-In-Schools Kits participated in a Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisors' focus group and reported the following benefits:
    • Participants reported using NFL FLAG-In-Schools Kits in PE class, at recess, in intramurals, in tournaments, before and after school and in Fuel Up to Play 60 events;
    • The program has significantly increased PE teachers' confidence and ability to teach/coach flag football;
    • Participants overwhelmingly felt their FLAG-In-Schools programs were successful - citing student enthusiasm for the game, especially girls' interest in the game, older students' willingness to teach younger students how to play and flag football's increasing popularity over other sports as reasons for the success; and
    • Participants representing a variety of school sizes unanimously reported that all their PE students participate in FLAG-In-Schools, adding that a sizable amount of interest among students was generated by intramural play and recess play

Additionally, schools report that the program has helped them to increase female students' participation in physical activity at school. In fact, NFL FLAG-In-Schools sparked such an interest in Miami-Dade County Public Schools that the district developed a new varsity middle school girls flag league in the 2015/16 school year, with 50 teams and over 1,000 girls now playing varsity flag football. This is a key advantage, given a 2016 study by Tufts University School of Medicine and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, which showed that girls are at greater risk than boys of falling short of in-school physical activity recommendations.

To learn more about NFL FLAG-In-Schools, visit FuelUpToPlay60.com. To find or start an NFL FLAG league in your community, visit NFLFLAG.com, and for NFL FLAG-In-Schools updates and more, follow @NFLPlayFootball and @GENYOUth on Twitter. And be sure to share your stories of best practices, positive youth development or how NFL FLAG-In-Schools has helped your school community address a specific topic using hashtag #LetsPLAYFootball.