INDIANAPOLIS – Local youth and high school football programs will receive a Jim Irsay Equipment Grant on Saturday evening at Lucas Oil Stadium from Indianapolis-based USA Football, the official youth football development partner of the Colts and the NFL. The grants total $10,000 and are awarded based on merit and need.
Eight football programs spanning youth and high school levels will receive equipment grants prior to kickoff of Saturday's Colts preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. A pregame check presentation will be made on the field as part of the Colts' celebration of USA Football Month:
In addition, 25 other Indiana youth and high school programs have received $27,500 this year through USA Football equipment grants, made possible by the Colts and the NFL Foundation. USA Football and the NFL's 32 teams award $1 million in grants annually to youth and high school football programs based on merit and need.
USA Football's Heads Up Football program will be celebrated across the Lucas Oil Stadium field Saturday night. In addition to Heads Up Football stadium banners, a Heads Up Football logo sticker will be affixed to the back of every Colts and Browns player's helmet. Heads Up Football logos also will be painted on the field. More than 40 youth football programs across Indiana have adopted Heads Up Football this season for a better, safer game.
"We are proud of our continued partnership with our Indianapolis neighbor USA Football to celebrate the beginning of another season for young players and their families throughout Colts country," Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsaysaid. "Through USA Football Month, the Colts are proud to show our continued dedication to youth and high school football, recognizing its important role in our communities and we're proud to help further strengthen deserving football programs."
"USA Football stands with Jim Irsay and the Colts in a shared commitment to make youth and high school football better and safer," USA Football Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECKsaid. "Jim's generosity helps advance this cause, which is bolstered by youth leagues and high schools in our state that employ USA Football's Heads Up Football program and coaching education resources. We are proud to partner with the Colts and contribute to the team's continued commitment to football throughout Indiana on multiple levels."
Approximately 2.8 million children age 6-14 play organized tackle football in the United States, placing the game among the country's most popular youth sports. More than 400,000 American adults volunteer their time to teach and coach youth football each year.