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NFL Flag Football program strives to bridge community gaps

Flag Football.png
Posted at 4:19 PM, Aug 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-01 23:47:21-04

TULSA, Okla — NFL flag football is coming to Tulsa to inspire, educate, and empower the youth of Green Country.

A former wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers and Super-Bowl Champion, Donald Driver, is partnering with community agencies to build stronger relationships between kids and those in uniforms.

“We always felt like if we could bring the community together through sports, then why not and so we’re so blessed to have the Tulsa Police Department, The Fire Department, The Chief, The Captain, The engagement unit all on board to make an impact on our community,"Driver said.

The program is a collaboration between Crime Stoppers, Tulsa Police, Tulsa Fire Department, Bank of Oklahoma, and Driven NFL Flag Football. It aims to improve relationships between youth and members of those agencies.

Driver tells 2 News the program teaches respect, unity, and brings people together as one.

Men and women from TPD and TFD will volunteer as coaches to help foster stronger relationships within the community while also helping build skills like teamwork.

Driver said he has ties to Tulsa, and didn't hesitate when they asked him to bring the Driver NFL Flag Football program to town.

“I want to be involved as much as possible because we not just want to give them the opportunity to play flag football, but if we could give scholarships to college through our program, then that’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to try to make the biggest impact in Tulsa in hoping that this spreads through all of Oklahoma," Driver said.

He is not the only one getting involved, the coaches are too. They are men and women that kids would normally see in uniform, helping out on the field too.

“When you can bring first-responders together to see an impact in the community that they serve every single day and if I can help them serve that community through flag football to make a complete change, and make an impact, then I feel like we’ve all done our part,” Driver said.

Tulsa Police Chief, Wendell Franklin, said he hopes the program will help foster positive and strong relationships between first-responders and kids in the community.

“Police are a part of this community, we are not just police officers, we’re coaches, you know we have some guys that teach part-time, so we are heavily involved in the community,”Franklin said.

The program will be offered at Johnson Park, Tandy Family YMCA, and John Hope Franklin Elementary.

Enrollment begins August 14th, 2021. Anyone interested can sign up at either site between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

"We want to show kids that you can come from the inner city like myself and be very successful in what you want to accomplish in life," Driver said.

The season is expected to kick off on September 12th and run through October.

They will take a short break and resume in February.

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