Devotees of American football in Serbia have been outfitted with equipment generously donated in July by high schools and colleges in the U.S. states of Ohio and Iowa eager to help develop the sport in the Balkan nation.
A KC-135 cargo departed Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base, bound for Belgrade, Serbia at Nikola Tesla Airport, loaded with helmets, shoulder pads and other pieces of equipment essential for playing the sport that is growing across the European continent.
Texas-based Global Football and Ohio Northern University joined forces with the Air National Guard, U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, and Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sport to create this unique partnership to assist the growth of American football in Serbia.
Big-hearted educational institutions in Ohio – which has been twinned with Serbia since 2005, resulting in productive joint training exercises, leadership courses, and cultural exchanges – along with Central College of Iowa and Global Football have donated the equipment that will be provided to needy clubs.
School – Donor – City, State
Ohio Northern University Polar Bears
HC Dean Paul,
Tim Glon Ada, OH
Bexley High School Lions
HC John Smith
Olentangy High School Braves
HC Mark Solis
Lewis Center, OH
Sidney High School Yellow Jackets
HC Adam Doenges
St. Francis Desales High Snhool
HC Ryan Wiggins
Villa Angela St Joseph HC
HC Jeff McMartin,
American football in Serbia has benefited from receiving 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.
“We are overwhelmed by and grateful for the generosity of these high schools and colleges who have contributed to the cause of helping the sport of American football continue to grow in Serbia,” said Global Football President Patrick Steenberge. “The eagerness of people to help is underlined by a college from a different state, Central College, joining those institutions that have donated from Ohio, simply because they are eager to help a good cause.”
The equipment donation program team:
Ohio Northern University (ONU), in addition to donating to the program, agreed to collect all donated equipment on their campus through the Athletic Department and Head Coach Dean Paul. Ohio Northern University is an independent, comprehensive University that distinctively combines nationally ranked sciences, arts and professional programs in its five colleges. www.onusports.com
Global Football serves as the coordinating organization in the United States, due to the friendship between Patrick Steenberge and Tom Sadowski, which dates back to Notre Dame flag football games. Through their long-standing relationship with Ohio Northern, ONU jumped in to serve as the collection point. Global Football will dedicate a section on the website www.globalfootball.com to the initiative.
The Air National Guard transported all of the donated equipment on a space available basis on military flights from the U.S. to Serbia with the first taking place in early August 2015. www.ang.af.mil.
This activity and the teamwork it personifies compliments efforts by the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade (serbia.usembassy.gov) and the Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sport (www.mos.gov.rs) to build bonds of friendship through sports and the interaction of our people.
Tom Sadowski initiated this project idea and is coordinating efforts in Serbia.
For further information on how to donate, schools may contact Tom Sadowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or Patrick Steenberge, President of Global Football: email@example.com / 817-219-7274.