ATLANTA – The Falcons and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation partnered with the Gwinnett County Public Schools this fall to fund girls flag football teams within all of the 19 high schools.
In hopes to continue to get more girls active and involved in sports throughout the state of Georgia – especially for high school girls – the Falcons wanted to get out in the community and provide opportunities that have never been granted before.
What a better way than to start a flag football program, right?
"Football – and sports in general – is a great place to create comradery," said Chris Millman, vice president of community relations for the Atlanta Falcons. "Being together and have an opportunity to be on a team together, achieve goals, but also be able to strengthen relationships off the field whether it be in in the classroom or at home, this is about connecting girls at a young age. We know in Georgia the athletics rate is very, very low in terms of male to female so that's what we're trying to do here with flag football is to help bring that up. Introduce more girls to sports so more girls can be active."
The season began in early October and ended in late November. The final four teams got the opportunity to play the semifinals and finals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Dec. 20.
Not only was each team invited to attend the final games, a whole evening was dedicated to these ladies.
When the ladies arrived at the stadium, they were greeted with new swag courtesy of NIKE. The four playoff teams were given new custom-made jerseys and cleats.
Next up was a panel session led by Morgan Shaw Parker, the vice president of brand strategy for the AMBSE Group. The other panelists were LaChina Robinson (former WNBA player, current ESPN analyst), Nicki Collen (current head coach for the Atlanta Dream) and Allison Fillmore (execute director, PGA Tour Championship). These women discussed a wide variety of topics from their individual journeys to the importance of following your passion and how to have a successful career in the sports industry.
Then to the field at Mercedes-Benz field these ladies went. The championship game came down to Peachtree Ridge vs. North Gwinett with Peachtree Ridge taking home the trophy.
But it wasn't just about celebrating Peachtree Ridge that night – it was about celebrating all of the women who participated in the league this year and giving them a night to remember.
"We knew this would be a special day for these ladies and we want to celebrate them," Millman said.