The seventh season of the Cleveland Browns Adapted Football League continues to have a lasting impact in Northeast Ohio.
The latest example of that came last week at the organization's Friday Night Lights event.
"It's just an exciting opportunity for our talented group of athletes to come out and showcase their skills," said Mike Urban, the Achievement Centers for Children's manager of sports programs.
Indeed, the athletes got to play at Berea's Lou Groza Field under the lights. The event also afforded families and volunteers the opportunity to celebrate their hard work and showcase their confidence, teamwork and football skills they've developed throughout the season.
"It's a big community event," Urban said. "The program couldn't run without all the volunteers that show up … it's overwhelming the support that we get."
Established in 2011, the Adapted Football League, proudly supported by Browns Give Back, provides children with disabilities the opportunity to participate in an organized, competitive and developmental sport. It's the first competitive adapted football program in Ohio that enables school-aged children and young adults with physical and/or cognitive disabilities the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to play football competitively.
The latest season of the Adapted Football League had the highest number of participants to date with more than 120 athletes and 150 volunteers. The program offers a foundation for success by focusing on skill development, socialization and physical activity. Those building blocks help prepare participants for achievement and growth now and in the future.
As part of Browns Give Back, the entire team is dedicated to #give10 through the team's First and Ten initiative. Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world by volunteering for 10 hours each year.
Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.
About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:
The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.
About Achievement Centers for Children:
Achievement Centers for Children empowers children and adults with disabilities and their families to achieve their greatest potential. Children at the Achievement Centers may have a wide range of disabilities including physical, neurological, sensory, and cognitive or a combination of conditions. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the Achievement Centers served more than 2,500 children and their families through a variety of services and programs. It serves families from all income levels, and its innovative programs and services focus on the key areas of education and autism services; therapy services and the intensive therapy clinic; family support services; and recreation and adapted sports.