As 100 Adapted Football League athletes pulled on their commemorative uniforms celebrating the fifth year of the program, the ever-growing Achievement Centers for Children Cleveland Browns Adapted Football League officially began its season on Saturday, May 30 with an open skills session. The program is one of many initiatives that is supported through the Cleveland Browns Foundation.
Along with the participating athletes, many of the programs 150 volunteers were in attendance to assist in running the open skills session, which took place at Camp Cheerful in Strongsville, Ohio. Cleveland Browns players, along with mascot Chomps, were also on site to lend their football expertise and help run the training camp style drills. Browns DB Johnson Bademosi,DL John Hughes, P Spencer Lanning, OL Andrew McDonald, OLB Barkevious Mingo and LB Craig Robertson were among the volunteers who committed time to #give10 during the event as part of the First and Ten initiative.
"As much as they feel we're their team, they're our team," says Lanning. "We want them to feel as if they are a part of the Cleveland Browns organization because they are."
To further show the teams support of the program, each athlete received a jersey to wear throughout the season that is designed after the Cleveland Browns' new uniforms that were revealed earlier this year.
The Adapted Football League is the first of its kind in Ohio. The league supports children with both cognitive and 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.
New this year, the league's last game at the end of the season will be held on a Friday night under the lights at Lou Groza Field in Berea, Ohio. The following week, the Cleveland Browns will host the Adapted Football League All-Star Game at the Cleveland Browns Training and Administrative Complex in Berea, Ohio.
The Adapted Football League relies heavily on volunteers and is always looking for dedicated, enthusiastic volunteer coaches to assist with practice and games - no experience necessary. If you are interested in becoming involved with the league in the future, please click here to learn more.
About the Cleveland Browns Foundation:
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, click here.
About First and Ten:
The Browns First and Ten program is about inspiring Browns fans to make their community better by giving back 10 hours of community service. Click here to share your story of how you are making a difference or use #give10. Follow @BrownsGiveBack on Twitter and Instagram for community updates.
About the Adapted Football League:
The Adapted Football League was created in partnership with the Achievement Centers for Children in 2011 with the goal of giving children with disabilities the opportunity to play the game of football. With assistance from volunteers, kids are able to be part of a football team and take part in game action. This program is the first of its kind in the state of Ohio.