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Cleveland Browns Foundation Adapted Football League wraps up successful 6th season

Posted Aug 18, 2016

Throughout this past summer, weekends for Adapted Football League athletes were spent in the sun throwing around a football with a teammate and even meeting a Cleveland Browns player or two.

For the sixth year, the Cleveland Browns Foundation partnered with the Achievement Centers for Children to provide adapted football to anyone 7 years or older with a disability. This season, the league had the highest participation to date with more than 116 athletes and over 150 volunteers.

The Adapted Football League was established in 2011. The league supports children with both cognitive and/or developmental delays and those with physical limitations. By separating into two divisions, the league is able to support players of all abilities. Division I is played on a grass field without any assistive equipment, and Division II is a power/manual wheelchair league played on a hardtop surface. Athletes and volunteers got together every Saturday for 8 weeks to enhance their skill development, socialization and physical activity. Those building blocks helped prepare participants for achievement and growth in the future.

This year, the season kicked off with an open skills session at the Achievement Centers Camp Cheerful located in Strongsville, Ohio. Cleveland Browns DL Danny Shelton was in attendance to lend his expertise and provide tips to the developing football players. Players rotated through stations as the athletes brushed up and refined their skills on catching, throwing, and kicking. 

To celebrate the end of a successful season, the league’s last game of the regular season was played on a Friday night at Lou Groza Field in Berea. It was a special moment for parents and players alike as each athlete was announced and ran out onto the football field under the lights.  

The season came to a close with an All-Star Game at the Cleveland Browns Berea Training Facility in July. Not only did the athletes play their final game on the same field the Cleveland Browns practice on, they were welcomed into the field house through a tunnel made up of the Cleveland Browns Drumline, Lou Groza Cheerleaders, Lakewood High School Sparkle Cheerleaders, and family and friends cheering them on. To top it off, DL Danny Shelton and LB Demario Davis joined in on the festivities and even made time to snap a couple of pictures and sign a few autographs. The day wrapped up with an awards ceremony where the League’s numerous volunteers and athletes were recognized.

Adapted Football League athletes and volunteers were invited to attend a private viewing session of Cleveland Browns Training Camp. New this year, they were able to throw and catch touchdown passes on the field afterward. Cleveland Browns players stopped by to say hello, sign autographs and take pictures. QB Josh McCown took a little extra time out of his day to throw the football around with the athletes.

The Achievement Centers for Children’s mission is to enable and empower children with disabilities and their families to grow, learn, play, and prepare for lifelong achievement in society. With youth development at the core of the Cleveland Browns Foundation mission, the Foundation is proud to continue to support this program. To learn more, click here.

The Cleveland Browns Foundation is dedicated to taking a solution-based, holistic approach to ensure Northeast Ohio youth receive the development and education they need as a foundation for independence and success. For more information, visit ClevelandBrowns.com/foundation.

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