Youth football leaders from throughout Saints Country traveled to the team's training facility for an exciting day of learning and idea sharing on March 6 for USA Football's Louisiana State Leadership forum. USA Football is the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels and is the Saints' official youth football development partner.
Youth league commissioners, presidents and board members from across Louisiana attended to discuss best practices and to learn how the Saints and USA Football can strengthen their organizations. USA Football South Regional Manager Dave Fanucchi led the full-day agenda.
"Everyone has ideas and ways of doing things, so it's great when league leaders from across the region can get together and share them to help grow youth football and make our leagues better," said Leon Blouin, president of Tri-Parish Youth Football in Gonzales, La.
USA Football's resources include coaching education for the game's dedicated volunteers, concussion awareness information, equipment grants, coaching benefits such as online practice planners, and a video drills library, as well as price breaks for the leagues to conduct in-depth background checks on potential volunteers.
"USA Football provides resources and education that we can bring back to our coaches to make the game safer for our kids…and it can also educate their parents to give them a better understanding of the game – making it more enjoyable for everyone," added Blouin.
"With the support from NFL teams like the Saints, USA Football is helping unify the sport on youth levels," said USA Football's Fanucchi. "Ultimately it's the kids who love to play football who benefit from these meetings – they're going to enjoy the sport even more when coaches and league commissioners are prepared and employ the resources offered."
USA Football selects one commissioner at each state forum to attend the NFL/USA Football Youth Summit in Canton, Ohio, in July. Approximately 200 coaches and administrators from every state take part in the annual event to discuss topics vital to the continued success of youth and high school programs. ReVonne Harden Jr., commissioner of Louisiana Youth Football, was selected to represent Louisiana at the Summit.
"I am looking forward to the overall experience, however, just the thought of being afforded the opportunity to attend the Summit in Canton – the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – is exciting in itself," said Harden. "I am also extremely anxious to meet individuals from across the country that share similar visions for youth football in America."
Learn more about USA Football or arrange to have one of the organization's eight regional managers meet with your league by visiting www.usafootball.com or call 1-877-5-FOOTBALL.