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Denver Broncos and NFL Provide New Field at DPS All-City Stadium and Launch New Tackle-Football League for Denver Middle School Students
DENVER, Sept. 3, 2008 – As the fall football season begins, Denver Public Schools has a new field at All-City Stadium, and will introduce a new tackle-football program for middle school students, thanks to support from the Denver Broncos and the National Football League (NFL).
A new Astroturf field was installed at All-City Stadium this summer, thanks to funding from the NFL Grassroots Program, an initiative of the NFL and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. All-City Stadium, located at South High School, hosts DPS games and tournaments for football, soccer, track and field, lacrosse, and field hockey.
Additionally, grants from Denver Broncos Charities and the NFL will allow DPS to introduce its first-ever tackle football program for students in seventh and eighth grades. The Denver Broncos Futures League will begin in March 2009, allowing 300 students from 32 DPS schools to participate in competitive tackle football. The program requires students to maintain high standards in academics, behavior and attendance in order to maintain weekly eligibility.
“The Futures League is an excellent way to keep students engaged in school and focused on success,” said Cindy Kellogg, vice president of community development for the Denver Broncos Football Club. “Athletics programs teach students about teamwork and good sportsmanship, increase their physical fitness level, and provide them with an incentive to maintain good grades. The Broncos will engage in a variety of activities throughout the fall that will encourage students to focus on achievement both in the classroom and on the field.”
Currently DPS’ Prep League, the official middle school sports program for the district, offers competitive flag football for students in grades 6-8. The new tackle program will allow seventh and eighth grade students to build game skills and confidence before heading into high school, creating a pipeline of potential players for the high school football teams. The flag football program will also remain, taking place in the fall while the tackle program will take place in the spring only for seventh and eighth grade students.
With the addition of the Denver Broncos Futures League, all of Denver’s major professional sports teams are now supporting the district’s Prep League program, which is expected to engage 4,500 students in sports during the 2008-2009 school year. The Colorado Rockies and Kroenke Sports, owner of the Nuggets and Avalanche, have sponsored Prep League for several years. For the 10 years following district budget cuts in 1997, the middle school sports program in DPS has been funded entirely by community support, generated through the Denver Public Schools Foundation.
“The middle school years are challenging for many students and our Prep League sports program keeps thousands of students interested in school,” said John Andrew, athletics manager for DPS. “The program keeps students active, provides them with adult supervision after school, and lets them have fun and make new friends. We are so thrilled to have the Broncos and NFL involved in providing these opportunities for our middle school students.”
About Denver Broncos Charities
The Denver Broncos strive to improve the lives of Coloradans through youth health, hunger and homeless relief initiatives. Furthermore, the NFL is dedicated to improving the physical fitness level and overall health of children nation wide, launching its NFL Play 60 initiative, encouraging children to get 60 minutes of physical activity in a day.
About the Denver Public Schools Foundation
The DPS Foundation raises funds in support of The Denver Plan, the district’s ambitious education reform plan to improve student achievement. The Foundation supports programs such as professional development for principals and teachers, improved curriculum and quality of instruction, after-school programs, and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.dpsfoundation.org.