By Scott Hallenbeck, USA Football CEO and Executive Director
April 20th was celebrated as Volunteer Recognition Day, and while my appreciation for the important and necessary contributions made daily by football’s volunteers is everlasting and never overlooked, I want to especially recognize and thank our partners during their honorary day.
Behind each youth and high school football program are countless collaborators who take time from their busy workdays, weekends and evenings to ensure young athletes have an opportunity to play our great sport and develop a love for the game.
Without its volunteers, youth and high school football would not be possible. Throughout the country, thousands upon thousands of community members work tirelessly to serve as coaches, team moms, trainers, equipment managers, board members, commissioners, support personnel and other vital positions.
Volunteers foster positive experiences for football-playing athletes so they can enjoy the sport, learn the inherent values the game teaches, and ensure football’s proper evolution. With the help of our volunteers, we continue to raise our very own standards.
Throughout my time as CEO of USA Football, I’ve seen in action volunteers who not only strengthen the sport of football, but also strengthen the communities in which they serve. Beyond being visible leaders, educators and administrators, they provide the nuts and bolts that allow youth and high school football to function – lining the field, setting up and tearing down events, or announcing games. Their efforts are felt throughout entire communities, and as Friday nights have taught us, no sport provides a local sense of pride more than football.
Volunteers supplement the important work full-time professionals do and help make their jobs easier, including mine. For that, we owe countless amounts of gratitude to our volunteers throughout the country. As a parent who had two kids participate in youth sports, I can personally attest to the significant role of volunteers and the lasting impact many of them had on my own two children.
Football’s promising future will always be connected to those who help push it forward. While we continue our collective work to advance and grow the sport, today, the football community applauds and shares its appreciation on Volunteer Recognition Day.
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