CHESHIRE, Conn. – The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has been chosen as one of 22 distribution hubs for a joint venture with Friends of Baseball of Portland, Ore. and adidas to distribute $1 million in baseball cleats to players in underserved youth baseball programs.
The CIAC was one of 22 athletics organizations to receive the contribution of 500 pairs of cleats to be provided for CIAC member schools. The cleats will be distributed through an application process to insure the products are allocated to the players and teams where the need is greatest.
“This program is an exciting opportunity to provide valuable equipment for deserving students, and is something the CIAC is proud to be a part of,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, CAS-CIAC executive director. “It is a thrill for the CIAC to be chosen as one of the national recipients, and we look forward to working with our members to make this program a success.”
The application process will begin this fall and the CIAC will distribute the cleats to programs around the state to the athletes with the greatest need. Schools will be asked to submit a brief application through CIACsports.com with a statement of need, detailing why their program should be selected to receive a portion of the equipment and the quantity requested. The deadline to submit applications will be Friday, October 26 with the aim of distributing the products before the spring season. Click here for the application form.
The program created by Friends of Baseball and adidas is designed to create access to athletic competition for the widest population and is a natural fit with the CIAC mission that all students should have access to the benefits of athletic competition.
“Playing sports on an organized team or after school at the park can positively impact kids’ lives by fostering teamwork and an active lifestyle,” said Mark Daniels, director of baseball for adidas America. “We are proud to partner with Friends of Baseball who share our desire to increase the accessibility of sports for all kids.”
Friends of Baseball is a Portland, Ore. area non-profit devoted to assisting underserved and disadvantaged youth baseball and softball organizations. Founded in 2006, Friends of Baseball’s mission is to offer underserved children equal access to the enhanced opportunities for social interaction, academic success, and physical and emotional well-being gained through participation in youth baseball and softball team programs.
Friends of Baseball Founder Keenan Longcor said, “We are thrilled to be chosen for this opportunity to extend our successful programs in Oregon to benefit players and teams nationwide. Ideally, we want these cleats on the feet of players who may never have enjoyed the very personal thrill of wearing a brand new pair.”