Equipment Fitting

USA Football Equipment Grants Available Now

By Michael Kuebler Tue, 05/04/2010 - 9:59am

Who said too much of a good thing is bad for you?

Sometimes you always need more.

That's the case with USA Football's Equipment Grants Program. Since 2006, USA Football has awarded more than $2 million worth of football equipment to youth and high school football programs across the United States. Assistance with the grant program comes from the NFL Youth Football Fund, a non-profit foundation created by the NFL and NFL Players Association in 1998.

USA Football is at it again this year offering another $1 million in equipment from Riddell. After being awarded an equipment grant from USA Football this past winter, some of the more than 800 programs expressed their stories and gratitude through thank you notes sent to the independent non-profit's staff.

Oftentimes youth and high school football programs must use well-worn equipment. The cost of new gear can be a barrier for some programs. For the football team at Trezevant High School in Memphis, Tenn., a USA Football equipment grant eliminated this problem.

"After going through a year of reconditioning of helmets where I had to send all my helmets off not knowing how many would come back, the USA Football grant was right on time," Trezevant Head Coach Teli White said. "The grant has allowed more opportunity to more kids to have equipment."

Last year the football team at Warner (S.D.) High School sustained three concussions. The school took advantage of its recent USA Football grant by acquiring six new Riddell Revolution helmets.

Head Coach Thomas Kulesa displayed the helmets in his classroom at the school to show them off and get his players excited. A mother with two sons on the team saw them and commented on how sharp they looked. She then told Kulesa to buy six more and that she and her husband would pay for them. So USA Football's grant effectively resulted in 12 new helmets for the team.

"We are a small school, and I think oftentimes small school coaches think they are not part of the football family," Kulesa said. "But I think this has proven that small schools are definitely part of the USA Football Family."

USA Football's Equipment Grants Program is available to youth, middle school and high school football programs. Youth league and middle school grants are valued at $1,000 worth of equipment while high school grants are valued at $1,500.

Interested programs have until June 4, 2010, to submit their applications.