ChoiceOne Bank Helps Sponsor Newaygo Junior Football Guardian Caps
“As the local community bank, we believe healthy schools and families, build strong neighborhoods and communities,” said ChoiceOne Bank President & CEO Kelly Potes. Laura Klomp, our Mortgage Post Closing and Compliance Specialist, who sits on the board of the Newaygo Junior Football organization, recognized the need to help parents learn about the benefits of youth football, and especially the safety concerns involved with tackle football. When she came to us for help with purchasing Guardian Caps, we naturally said of course.”
Newaygo Junior Football is a nonprofit 503c organization, with a slogan – The Youth are the Future. The organization strives to provide a fun, safe and high energy learning experience for children interested in learning to play football or cheerleading. The organization teaches football and cheerleading for grades K-8.
The sponsor money will help purchase Guardian Caps worn during practice, as most concussions happen at practice. They are not allowed for games. The Guardian Caps provide 33 percent less G-force. All grade levels wear the caps during practice to help prevent any safety concerns parents have pertaining to concussions.
“Our focus this year was to ensure the safety of our kids and the ways we can protect them,” said Klomp. “The Guardian Caps were brought to our attention from a nearby town. We were so excited to be able to provide this extra padding for our kids, and also the extra comfort for parents knowing we care about their child’s safety. We strive to get more and more kids out on the playing field if they do enjoy football.”
Newaygo Junior Football offered an anonymous survey to parents in 2017 and found that not as many kids signed up to play football because parents were concerned for their safety, particularly because of the possibility of concussions.
“We took the survey knowledge and discussed the best parts of being on a football team, not only to play the sport but the overall benefits of life lessons: being a part of a team, working together to get to the same goal, depending on each other to protect each other and to be accountable for mistakes, learning leadership, taking commands from leaders as well and listening to instructions,” said Klomp. “These are such crucial instruments for kids to learn on and off the football field and in the mist… being able to play the sport.”
Parent’s concerns for safety are now addressed even further than what was already required: making sure all safety equipment is up to date and certified per USA Football standards. The organization wanted to show parents, who have hesitated to allow their children to play tackle football, that their child’s safety is an upmost concern. Taking advantage of such a great piece of equipment like the Guardian Caps will help with protection. “Hence, Newaygo Junior Football has the largest group of kids this year that the program has ever seen, and we expect even more next year as the word spreads. We could not be happier with the results,” said Klomp.