Today, Riddell announced its recipients of the 2016 Smarter Football Grant. There were 6 high school programs and 4 youth programs chosen, recognized specifically for their commitment to safer and smarter approaches to football.
Tenino High School (Tenino, Washington) is one of this years recipients. Each school will receive $10,000 in equipment grants from Riddell, a leading name in football equipment and protection.
Nearly 1,000 programs throughout the United States and Canada applied for the grant. Riddell pledged a total of $100,000 to be split equally between the 10 programs that best explained how the equipment grant could benefit their commitment to making football a safer game.
Riddell explained that the winning programs "each uncovered impressive efforts in coaching leadership and training, unwavering commitments not only to player safety, but to personal development and dedication to the broader community at large."
Dan Arment, President and CEO of Riddell, spoke to the importance of this grant and continuing to improve the game of football: "We believe in all that football has to offer and we applaud the coaches, players, parents and fans for their passion to advance their programs and the sport we all love. We are honored to shine a light on these ten teams – and everyone who applied for a grant – as great examples illustrating the power of football."
Tim Bullard, head of of Tenino High School's football team, is honored that his program has been chosen for the grant. Taking over the head coach position this past spring and in his first season, his main goal has been to expand and build the football program.
Bullard has doubled the size of the program to date, and credits his success to the strong foundation he tries to build for the players. Implementing a study hall program, encouraging community engagement and service, and earning the trust of his students and their families are only a few pieces of how Bullard has began to transform the Tenino football program.
"Safe tackles, safe hitting...we teach rugby tackling. It is a priority that our players understand the importance of safe technique...with a young, underprivileged program, it is important that we find a way to give all kids an opportunity to play, and to play the right way." Bullard hopes to build the program at all ages, which is why he implements the same safe tackles, hits and techniques with the youth and middle school programs in the area.
When asked about the magnitude of this grant, Bullard explained that it creates opportunities that could never be possible otherwise. With current budget constraints, it can be difficult to replace 2 helmets a year. With this grant, he says it will allow Tenino to equip and prepare the program for years to come. "We are incredibly grateful for the recognition. We are a small program, a small school, but this will open unbelievable opportunities for us and we are so thankful."
Tenino High School is 3-2 on the season, and travels to Forks this weekend to take on Forks High School.
Riddell 2016 Smarter Football Grant Recipients:
High School Football Programs:
Brimley High School – Brimley, MI
Mar Vista High School – Imperial Beach, CA
Nicholas Senn High School – Chicago, IL
St. Benedict High School – Cambridge, Ontario (Canada)
Tenino High School – Tenino, WA
Waggener High School – Louisville, KY
Youth Football Programs:
Bay Saints – Bay Saint Louis, MS
Gum Springs Youth Athletic Association – Alexandria, VA
Hobe Sound Ravens – Hobe Sound, FL
Who Dat Warriors – Indianapolis, IN
Link to the official press release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/riddell-announces-2016-smarter-football-grant-recipients-300338016.html?tc=eml_cleartime
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