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State Forums Lifting Youth Football Nationwide

By Brett Douglas | Posted 12/12/2019

Football is often cited as the ultimate team sport.

It requires a group working collectively to accomplish a common goal.

That also happens to be the theme adopted by youth football programs in states nationwide. Their goal, however, is not to win a game or a championship, but to keep America’s favorite sport thriving.

In New York, Kansas, and Colorado, statewide forums are in full swing to deliver 21st century football experiences while advancing player safety. USA Football lends resources and amplifies the vision of these community-led alliances which address topics such as safer play, coach education, participation trends and idea sharing.

On Dec. 7 in Binghamton, N.Y., the New York State Council on Youth Football met to further develop its leadership structure for the good of youth players and programs statewide. The Council is an example for New York youth sports leaders to work together for the benefit of young athletes and their families.

USA Football CEO Scott Hallenbeck was introduced at the start of the Binghamton meeting via conference call to underscore USA Football’s support of the Council.

“The most important thing is education,” said Oceanside (N.Y.) Stallions Youth Football President Christos Spirou, who employs USA Football’s coach education across his program. Spirou, who drove nearly four hours from Long Island, N.Y., to Binghamton, was among the nearly two dozen youth football leaders in attendance.

A state forum in Wichita, Kan., also united youth football leaders statewide, drawing members from as far as three hours away.

Earl Kawaoka of Kansas City Football & Cheerleading encapsulated the group’s mission and inspired work when stating, “Unfortunately, football has been under fire as of late, but this alliance gives us a platform to defend the sport and promote the positives. There are more good things around the game that people don’t know about that can be promoted, including safety of the game.

“This alliance gives us the chance to collaborate and create one unified voice.”

State forum participants in Colorado will meet for the third time this Saturday, December 14, to finalize and solidify their bylaws. “By having an alliance, it allows us to provide formal, minimum standards that include best practices that members of the alliance will have to adhere to,” said Jeffco Youth Football Association President Jeff Glenn of Denver. “This will bring us together if we ever do face legislation in our state.”

Glenn also reiterated a point that Kawaoka made – by creating a unified voice to inform all members of the sport’s community, including legislators, youth football parents and leaders at state forums illustrate the positive changes taking place across the game.

Across thousands of miles, Spirou, Kawaoka, Glenn and many mothers and fathers like them make safer, forward-thinking football the sport’s present standard.

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