News, Press Releases

NFL FLAG-In-School Kicks Off 10th Year of Engaging Students in the Love of Sport

April 25, 2023

NFL, GENYOUth and NFL FLAG Team Up to Distribute More Than 4,000 FREE NFL FLAG-In-School Flag Football Kits, Offering 2.3 Million More Students the Opportunity to Enjoy and Participate in Physical Activity

NEW YORK (April 25, 2023) – The National Football League (NFL), GENYOUth, and NFL FLAG are celebrating the 10th year of GENYOUth’s NFL FLAG-In-School program with the opening of national applications for the 2023-2024 school year. Beginning today, educators and community-based organizations can apply for a free NFL FLAG-In-School flag football kit to strengthen and enhance their physical education curriculum and equipment. Applications will close Tuesday, May 16, 2023.

Through a renewed commitment of $1.5 million from the NFL Foundation, NFL FLAG-In-School continues to offer opportunities for physical activity to students of all genders, abilities, and skill levels. Since 2014, a total of 37,000 kits will have been provided to U.S. schools and school-based community organizations through the 2023-2024 school year, engaging an estimated 16.5 million students in 30,000 school communities to become more active before, during, and after school. 

NFL FLAG-In-School is a proven resource, both scalable and sustainable, that inspires boys and girls to participate in school-based sports. Since its inception in 2014, the program has fueled interest and engagement in sports while providing an equitable solution for schools which lack accessibility to physical activity due to budget constraints. Flag football was the fastest-growing team sport from 2015-2018¹ and has held participation numbers from 2019-2021² during a time when in-school-based sports saw a decline in participation related to the pandemic. Overall, flag football has experienced a strong level of expansion to which NFL FLAG-In-School has undoubtedly contributed.

The program’s positive impact on girls has been particularly significant, with schools reporting an increase in female students’ participation in physical activity, and a growing movement toward girls’ flag football as a varsity sport due to NFL FLAG-In-School. Girls’ enthusiasm for the program is especially important considering research that shows they are at greater risk than boys of falling short of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services youth physical activity guidelines, with girls twice as likely to drop out of sports upon reaching middle school. 

Through a partnership between GENYOUth and the Nevada State Department of Education, NFL FLAG-In-School will continue to expand as part of the State of Nevada’s physical education course. Introduced in public high schools in the 2022-23 school year, NFL FLAG-In-School kits will expand to middle and elementary schools in 2023-24, enabling every Nevada public school to have access to NFL FLAG-In-School leading into the 2024 Super Bowl in Las Vegas.  

“Fewer than 1 in 4 school-aged youth are getting the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity³, and schools are crucial partners in supporting the health and well-being of youth,” said Ann Marie Krautheim, CEO of GENYOUth. “U.S. schools operate on a median annual school physical education budget of just $764⁴. The need for NFL FLAG-In-School and the critical opportunities it provides for students to be physically active has never been greater. We are proud of the positive impact that NFL FLAG-In-School has had on school communities in providing innovative tools and resources that inspire a lifelong love of physical activity and sport among students.”

“NFL FLAG-In-School opens the door of accessibility to all students regardless of gender, age, class, disability, and ethnicity to benefit from the many transferable values that the game of football offers,” said Troy Vincent, Sr., NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “The NFL, GENYOUth, and NFL FLAG partnership aims to effectively resource under-resourced schools in meeting physical activity needs with America’s most popular and fastest emerging team sport. Football for all!”

“The NFL Foundation is proud to continue our partnership with GENYOUth to provide kids more opportunities to PLAY 60,” said Alexia Gallagher, NFL Vice President of Philanthropy and Executive Director of NFL Foundation. “With high quality resources like these kits, we hope to ensure that flag football and sports in general are accessible so youth can stay active and healthy.”

“NFL FLAG’s commitment is to make sports accessible to all athletes,” said Izell Reese, NFL FLAG Executive Director and CEO of RCX Sports. “Working with our partners GENYOUth and the NFL, we are excited to ensure that NFL FLAG-In-School, and the game of flag football, is available to students across the nation.”

“Ensuring and expanding opportunities for youth athletes in Southern Nevada to have access to flag football is critically important for the Raiders. The Raiders have supported youth football throughout the state of Nevada since the team announced relocation to Las Vegas in 2017 through activations, engagements, and donations. We continue to advocate and endorse student participation in youth football at all levels, including operating flag football tournaments for boys and girls, hosting coaching clinics, and supporting high school girls’ flag football as a varsity sport in Nevada. We are proud to partner on programs like NFL FLAG-In-School in Nevada,” said Las Vegas Raiders President Sandra Douglass Morgan.

To learn more about NFL FLAG-In-School, or to find or start an NFL FLAG league in your community, visit https://flag.genyouthnow.org. For NFL FLAG-In-School updates and more, follow @nflflag, @nflplay60, and @GENYOUthNow on Twitter. And use hashtag #PlayFootball to share your stories of NFL FLAG-In-School best practices and on how the program is positively contributing to youth development in your community.

¹ Sports & Fitness Association
² Aspen Institute. State of Play, 2022
³ CDC Healthy Schools
⁴ Society for Health and Physical Educators

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.

About GENYOUth

GENYOUth is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that creates healthier school communities. Founded by America’s dairy farmers and the NFL, GENYOUth convenes 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 flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60, enrolls over 73,000 U.S. schools, reaching over 38 million students. Our school nutrition grants increase access to healthy school meals among food insecure students. NFL FLAG-In-School is the fastest-growing youth sport in the country (ages 6-14) with over 32,000 flag kits to school communities reaching over 15 million students. AdVenture Capital brings out the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of students with the support of corporate mentors to solve real world problems. GENYOUth is the official charitable partner of Taste of the NFL, a purpose-driven Super Bowl culinary experience that raises awareness and generates funds to fight hunger and food insecurity to support the organization’s commitment to end student hunger.

About NFL FLAG  

NFL FLAG is an NFL-licensed property of more than 1,800 locally operated leagues and over 585,000 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. RCX Sports is the official operator of NFL FLAG.

About RCX SPORTS

RCX Sports is the premier youth sports experiences business, running and operating leagues, camps, combines, tournaments, and events. Working directly with professional leagues, national governing bodies, and sports-centric businesses, such as the NFL, Jr. NBA, MLB, NHL, and NAIA, RCX is committed to improving the accessibility and inclusivity of sports by creating opportunities for all athletes to play. For more information, visit rcxsports.com.

 

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Contact

Eric Slutsky, GENYOUth, Eric.Slutsky@genyouthnow.org, 917-391-6709

Avis Roper, NFL, Avis.Roper@nfl.com, 212-450-2520

Jaclyn Thoman, NFL FLAG, jthomas@rcxsports.com, 586-556-5335

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