The Chiefs efforts to promote and expand youth football are at the forefront of the organization's focus. While that can be seen in a myriad of different programs, one shining example is the team's youth football field. The first season of this new youth-specific football field located at the The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex was a rousing success. It enabled metro-area youth to get a taste for playing the game they love adjacent to the very location that their NFL heroes do. The best part is that it is made possible thanks to the generosity of the NFL and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Erected in the shadows of Arrowhead Stadium, this field is made possible via the Chiefs Children's Fund, the Hunt family and the NFL Youth Football Funding Board. It provides area youth teams with an opportunity unlike any other in the metro area. Youth games and practices took place on this field seven days a week (excluding Chiefs home games) during the months of September and October. It is also utilized in the spring and summer months for flag and instructional youth leagues.
In all, the field was utilized for youth football activities in 50 of the 58 available days in its initial season of use. Some 206 teams played on the field, where 4,500 youth football players and coaches participated in games. Throughout the course of the year, approximately 12,450 spectators watched youth teams from such leagues and teams as Bishop Miege High School, Blue Springs Football, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Della Lamb, Heart of America Pop Warner, Kansas City Pop Warner, Police Athletic League, and the YMCA of Greater Kansas City
With the addition of this field, the Chiefs organization has now donated $1.75 million for metro-area field refurbishments and/or construction in the past decade. Other groups receiving grants thanks to the Chiefs include: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Central High School, 12th Street Heritage, Northland, Derrick Thomas Academy, Bishop Ward High School, and the Hickman Mills C-1 School District.
As a result of the organization's unparalleled commitment to the development of youth football in and around the Kansas City area, the Chiefs were recognized as the Pop Warner-NFL Team of the Year Award in 2005.
If you are interested in having your youth football team or league utilize the field, we invite you to contact the Chiefs Community Relations Department at 816.920.9300.
Here's a sampling of the some of the team's other youth football initiatives:
Atlas and Athena
Five high schools in the Kansas City area are part of the model Chiefs ATLAS and ATHENA Schools Program. This unique program was initially piloted in conjunction with the NFL and the Center for Health & Science University (OHSU). With its focus being steroid/drug prevention and health promotion, ATLAS and ATHENA programs are designed for high school athletes. Funding for the program is made possible by a grant from the NFL's Youth Football Fund (YFF). With the support of the team and the YFF a $1.2 million grant is backing these programs. For more information on the ATLAS and ATHENA programs, please visit: http://atlasathena.com/
Chiefs Coaches Of The Week/Year Programs
High school coaches are selected weekly for both the Missouri and Kansas area by the Chiefs Ambassadors. These coaches are then featured in several media outlets, often including a media segment by a local TV affiliate. Each school is awarded a $500 grant. At the end of the high school season, one of the local coaches of the week from each state is name the local Coach of the Year.
Chiefs Celebration Of Youth Football
For the ninth season, the Kansas City Chiefs were proud to host a "Celebration of Youth Football". This year's recognition took place as part of USA Football's "Play Football" festivities and again took place at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs hosted thousands of youth football participants from throughout the metro area at the game. In addition to touring the field to witness pregame warm-ups while being recognized on Arrowvision, selected youth football players stayed on the field to participate in the National Anthem. Halftime featured a pair of simultaneous youth football games as some of the area's best entertained the Arrowhead faithful on the Chiefs hallowed field. For more information on the Play Football initiatives, please visit: http://www.USAFootball.org
NFL Junior Player Development Program
The Chiefs continued their support of the Junior Player Development Program (JPD) locally. Thanks to visits from Chiefs players, JPD provides step-by-step instruction about every football position for youngsters between the ages of 12 and 14. Both the Kansas City, Missouri and Hickman Mills school districts have benefited from this program in the past. It uses a fun and engaging environment to integrate on-field development with life skills development. Participants receive instruction from NFL-selected high school coaches and trained community volunteers, as well as counseling that focuses around a weekly life style. For more information on the JPD program, visit: http://nflyouthpd.com/jpd/
NFL Flag Football
NFL FLAG is the premier youth football league for boys and girls ages 5-17. The program provides young players a fun and exciting opportunity to engage in non-contact, continuous action while learning lessons in teamwork.
Launched in 1996, the NFL FLAG Football program is designed to educate young people about football while emphasizing participation and sportsmanship. Players learn skills and lessons that help them succeed both on and off the field. For more information on NFL FLAG or to request a flag football kit, please visit: http://flag.nflyouthfootball.com/Home_385.htm
NFL Grassroots Field Grant
The Grassroots Community Football Fields initiative is a joint venture between the NFL and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The initiative provides non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of local football fields in schools and parks. Since 1998, over 170 fields have been built/renovated in cities throughout the country, bringing the total contribution to more than $20 million. For more information about the program and eligibility requirements, please visit: http://www.lisc.org/kansascity/
The Chiefs have joined the NFL in its commitment of bringing the game of football to the Latino community. An example of that sense of devotion took place earlier this year when the Chiefs hosted a special event in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15). Headlined by TE Tony Gonzalez, other current members of the Red and Gold and former P Louie Aguiar, the team held a football clinic for 80 children from Guadalupe Center. The Chiefs also have been involved in programming with El Centro Inc, Academy for Children. Additionally, the team welcomed numerous members of the Latino community under the banner of "Futbol Americano" at the team's annual Celebration of Youth Football Game. For more information about NFL Latino activities, please visit: http://www.nflatino.com/
NFL Punt, Pass & Kick
The Kansas City Chiefs have supported the Punt, Pass and Kick competition for countless years. In fact, just two years ago, local football guru Caroline Farchmin became the National Champion for the 14-15 Year-Old Girls division. For the past decade the team has also hosted a special version of the competition for Special Olympians that's held at the team's practice facility and features players offering their own personal tips. If you want to participate in your local punt, pass, and kick competition, please visit: http://ppk.nflyouthfootball.com/Home_466.htm
NFL Youth Football Fund
We care about young people both on and off the field, which is why youth football is a top priority for the NFL and its players. In 1998, the NFL and NFL Players Association formed the NFL Youth Football Fund (YFF) - a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation which supports the game at the youth level and promotes positive youth development. Since then, hundreds of thousands of youngsters have been given the opportunity to learn the game of football, get physically fit, and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors. The YFF also has provided youth football participants with safe and accessible places to play as well as programs and initiatives that address the importance of proper coaching, academics, health and safety and life skills development. More information about the Youth Football Fund can be found by visiting: http://www.nflyff.org/
For the fourth year, the Kansas City Chiefs teamed with the National High School All-Star Combine (NHSASC). This event allowed Kansas City-area high school athletes to showcase their skills in hopes of reaching the next level. As always, the event took place at the team's practice facility. Typically, the team will have a special visitor speak with the participants to offer them encouragement and advise on obtaining their football dreams. For more information on the NHSASC camps, visit: http://www.nhsasc.com/main.html
Play It Smart
Play it Smart is a unique program implemented by the Chiefs within the local community to enhance the standing of today's young athletes. The initiative was put in place during the 2002-2003 school year at Kansas City, Missouri's very own Central High School. Since that time, the program moved to Westport High School. At the heart of the program is the Play It Smart "Academic Coach", equal parts mentor, advocate, counselor, teacher, coach and friend. Each Academic Coach receives special training and support from experts in the field. Their training includes the national conference, which annually attracts dozens of the most knowledgeable speakers in the fields of sports psychology and youth development. For more information on the Play it Smart program, visit: http://playitsmart.org/
USA Football/Kansas City Chiefs Coaching School
USA Football and the Kansas City Chiefs will again team up this summer to host a coaching clinic designed exclusively for youth football coaches. Held for the second consecutive year, this Coaching School will help participants learn effective ways to develop and organize your team, teach proper fundamentals, implement drills and communicate with players, parents and other coaches. The Coaching School will again be held at Rockhurst High School and will feature a special Chiefs guest speaker. For more information, please visit: http://www.usafootball.com/resource-center/coaching/clinics
USA Football/Kansas City Chiefs Youth Football State Leadership Forum
USA Football and the Kansas City Chiefs will host the area's inaugural State Leadership Forum on April 4th. It offers a way of allowing the decision makers from various youth football leagues and conferences throughout the local area to discuss issues affecting youth football. This event is just another way that the Chiefs and USA Football have teamed up to ensure the growth of the sport. Information on the State Leadership Forum can be found at: http://www.usafootball.com/articles/displayArticle/5935/5143
Past youth football programming that the Chiefs have been involved with includes:
Central High School Field Renovation
The Kansas City Chiefs joined together with Central High School in 2003 to assist in the school's special football field renovation project. Thanks to guidance from Chiefs Sports Field Manager Andre Bruce, himself a Central High Alum, the Eagles football field was transformed into a more modern gridiron facility. Members of the Red and Gold were on hand throughout the process, beginning with Chiefs players joining the Eagles football squad clearing debris from the old field in preparation for it being "graded," all the way through to the official ribbon cutting that reopen the field. If you'd like an update on Central High School, please visit: http://www.kcmsd.k12.mo.us/schools/home4.asp?schoolid=9&t=1&s=0
Greensburg Football – Rebinding A Program
The tragic effects of an 2007 EF5 tornado in rural Kansas spurred several spontaneous acts of generosity. With the rebuilding of an entire community in progress, members of the Greensburg High School football team were in the midst of a difficult journey. Recognizing this, the Chiefs Family did its best to ensure as easy of a transition as possible.
It began at Chiefs Training Camp in River Falls, Wisconsin, the team donned special Chiefs edition "Greensburg Rangers" caps as a show of solidarity. Thanks to unprecedented demand from the Chiefs Nation, the team sold out of these collectables, with all proceeds earmarked for the rebirth of Greensburg's gridiron program. In addition, the Chiefs players and front office pledged to donate in excess of $50,000 in monies and equipment to Greensburg.
The real treat came at the Chiefs home preseason finale that year. That's when the Chiefs Organization welcomed the Greensburg Rangers to Arrowhead Stadium for a "red carpet experience." The visit included transportation, lodging, food, visits from Chiefs personalities, the Chiefs Cheerleaders, past and present members of the Red and Gold and KC Wolf. Prior to kick-off of the game, the Rangers were welcomed on the field where they partook in a special pregame ceremony and stayed on the sidelines during the National Anthem. While this Chiefs sponsored field trip couldn't erase the strife facing the Rangers, it did help to quell the struggles these Greensburgonians faced if only for a couple of days. Want to check in on the Greensburg Rangers? You can do so by visiting. http://www.usd422.org/
Youth Football Camp
Held for two years in Kansas City, the Chiefs/Herm Edwards Youth Football Camp was centered on seven core principles for the campers to learn. Thanks to this instruction, the campers learned the importance of these core values on and off of the field- Expectations, Priorities, Commitment, Choices, Integrity, Teamwork and Sportsmanship. With the help of over 150 volunteer coaches, members of the Chiefs coaching staff, Chiefs players, and various other volunteers, this free camp for children ages 10-17was truly a success. Over 1,100 campers were able to observe and perform these concepts in Kansas City.
National Football Foundation/Chiefs Coaching Academy
The Kansas City Chiefs Coaching Academy was a joint venture between the National Football Foundation and the Kansas City Chiefs. This day-long program was held at the Chiefs Facilities for area football coaches for four season before it was replaced by another collaboration in the USA Football/Chiefs Coaching School. Members of the Chiefs coaching staff served as cognitions as they educated these youth football coaches on items that focus not just on the Xs and Os of the game but also incorporated life-skills development, program management, safety, health and nutrition. The team also welcomed outside speakers from around the area to share their experiences and lessons about the game of youth football. Interested in the National Football Foundation, please visit: http://www.footballfoundation.com/
Pleasant Valley Park Youth Field Clean Up
As a result of the tornados that blew through the Kansas City-metro area in May of 2003, the North Suburban Youth Football Fields at Pleasant Valley Park were left in shambles. With the area in a rebuilding mode, the Kansas City Chiefs joined members of the Missouri Wolverines Youth Football Club in cleaning their fields of debris so that they can resume their activities. Flanked by Wolverines coaches and players, a pair of Chiefs donned work gloves and assisted the program began the slow process of recovery. From more information on the North Suburban Youth Football League, visit: http://www.nsyfl.com/ or get more information about the Missouri Wolverines Youth Football Club at: http://www.missouriwolverines.com/main/