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Football N America, a non-contact youth co-ed flag football league for grades K-10 co-founded by New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, is coming to LSU Shreveport.
The league is designed to provide a safe, positive, competitive, and family-friendly environment to learn “America’s Game” the right way.
FNA was founded based on Brees’ lifelong love of the game, and focuses on teaching children of different ages and skill levels fundamental techniques while protecting them from the potential dangers associated with full-contact football.
Brees himself did not play tackle football until high school, proving that kids can still experience the highest levels of the game while mitigating the risks to their physical development.
It was something that immediately sold Brandon Beard of Beard and Brock Marketing on bringing it to Northwest Louisiana.
“One of my good friends opened an FNA league in Lafayette,” Beard said. “I went down to help with the camp and had a chance to meet Drew Brees and Chris Stuart. There were so many kids and so much energy that I knew I wanted to be involved. We love what Drew stands for and what he does for the community so it was a perfect fit for us.
“As a parent, I want more than just a sports league for my children and I know that other parents feel the same way,” said Beard, underscoring the notion that for him and his partner Jackie Brock, the league is more than just about football.
“We want kids to learn skills that transcend athletics. As Drew has said, FNA is about friends, family and football. We plan to have a full experience every week for the whole family—things for siblings who are not competing, movies out at LSUS after the game, food trucks, vendors, music and a whole host of other plans that we’re not ready to reveal just yet,” he continued.
When Beard and his team were looking for a place to host the camp, LSUS felt like a perfect fit.
Under current Chancellor Larry Clark, the university has made a concerted effort to bring more community-related events and activities to the campus in recent years.
The university’s large field spaces on the east side of campus are already heavily used for recreational sports leagues as well as large-scale events such as the Red River Balloon Rally.
Beard approached Leigh Chambers, LSUS’s Director of Events Management, with the idea of bringing FNA to the region.
“I had previously worked with Brandon on the Balloon Rally,” said Chambers. “When he pitched the idea to us, we all felt it was a great opportunity for LSUS to open its campus to the broader community while connecting with a program that will positively impact our youth, no matter where they’re from.”
Beard and Brock have teamed up with local banker and Flag football league building expert Rick Holland.
“We are thrilled to add Rick as a part of the team. His wealth of knowledge in bringing people together, organizing leagues, and experience in game day logistics make him the perfect piece of our puzzle to make this league run smoothly and be successful,” Brock said.
For Beard, this is a major priority and the team is working with area organizations to assist children in underserved communities in covering the league’s $150 seasonal entry fee.
“We want to make sure that all kids can be a part of this league,” Beard said. “The fee covers a spot in the camp, and each kid gets a jersey, shorts, flags, and a belt, but we understand that not all parents can afford it. We’ve met with several sponsors and are signing agreements to help cover these costs for those who need it most.”
Music Mountain Water, which has a long history of community support, has agreed to provide water to players and coaches at every game of the year.
They will also donate $1 from every bottle sold at the camp to build scholarships for kids to get involved. Beard and his team are also working to partner with area churches, community groups and professional associations.
When asked if there are other similar camps in the area, Beard is quick to point out that although FNA is unique, much of the planning involves an awareness of the amazing programs already in the area.
“It is very important to Drew and FNA that we are not looked at as competition to other area leagues. We are a great addition to all other sports,” said Beard. “In fact, we will play on Friday nights at LSUS because it’s the one night when other sports typically do not have games during that time of the year.”
FNA and LSUS are working diligently to make their partnership successful in the long-term, and that success lies in the continued development of the region.
“Whenever we assess our potential involvement in a project, we think about how it benefits the community and how it aligns with our mission as a university,” said Chambers. “Ultimately we think about how it gives people a chance to experience LSUS as a gathering place for the region.”
“We truly believe that being a part of FNA from a young age can have a dramatic impact on our kids,” said Beard. “We believe in the positive social change that comes with programs that mentor kids, and how making new friends and working together for a common goal can teach them life skills that they will carry into adulthood.”
The one-day FNA Camp will be held March 31 at LSUS.
League games will begin April 6 and run for 8 weeks, depending on team performance.
The league is co-ed and open to children, grades K through 10th.
For more information on how to register visit www.playfna.com.
Registration is open now and will close March 11. For information on becoming a partner contact Brandon Beard 337.322.0007 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgVisit and like FNA318 on Facebook for additional details.