Some of the American football equipment generously donated by high schools and colleges in the U.S. states of Ohio and Iowa eager to help develop the sport in Serbia is already creating progress in the Balkan nation.
The U.S. Air National Guard played some flag football with a newly formed Serbian team near the town of Vranje that was able to begin playing because of the initiative organized by Global Football, Ohio Northern University and Tom Sadowski, who coordinated efforts in Serbia.
The unique partnership enlisted the help of the Air National Guard, U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, and Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sport to airlift 34 helmets, 160 sets of shoulder pads, 91 pairs of game pants, 100 pairs of thigh pads, 20 pairs of knee pads, 30 jaw pads, 16 neck Rolls, 12 jerseys, 3 footballs, one hand shield and a clip board to Serbia.
“While we have done some amazing things during our 20 years of operations, this singular program may have one of the biggest impacts for development of the sport worldwide,” said Global Football President Patrick Steenberge. “Ohio Northern did a superb job or coordinating everything, and my Notre Dame buddy Tom Sidowski was the catalyst. Great work!”
Donating to the initiative were: Ohio Northern University Polar Bears, Bexley High School Lions, Olentangy High School Braves, Sidney High School Yellow Jackets, St. Francis De Sales High School, Villa Angela St Joseph, Central College and Global Football.