Foxborough, Mass – Special Olympics Massachusetts, a leader in providing healthy lifestyles for individuals with intellectual disabilities, has a winning partnership with the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. Sunday, October 28 will mark the fourth annual Flag Football and Cheerleading event at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough – and the championship partnership of Special Olympics and the Patriots.
The event made its debut in 2009 at Gillette Stadium. Each year the event has grown, as flag football and cheerleading participation continues to increase throughout Special Olympics Massachusetts. Athletes and Unified Sports® partners from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island will participate in five-on-five flag football games and cheerleading demonstrations. A number of New England Patriots alumni will be in attendance, handing out awards and supporting the Special Olympics athletes.
"We are glad to provide athletes with a popular sporting event that imparts the thrills of participating in flag football and cheerleading while also offering an exciting way to stay healthy," said Robert Johnson, President and CEO of Special Olympics Massachusetts. "The New England Patriots inspire athletes as champions who represent success and celebration and the thrill of competing in Gillette Stadium is the opportunity of a lifetime for many. We are grateful for this chance and for the support of the New England Patriots."
Due to the increased popularity of the event, this year's competition will be spread over two venues taking place simultaneously on October 23. Along with Gillette Stadium, half of the 46 teams will compete in the tournament at Franklin High School in Franklin, MA.
"For the fourth year, we are glad to team with Special Olympics for this growing event," said Andre Tippett, Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer and Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs. "These games highlight the Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation's commitment to youth sports and character development of youth and their families. There is no better setting for this day of football than Gillette Stadium, and we are honored to host the state games again this year. We wish the athletes the best of luck and hope they know we are cheering for them."
The timeline for the event is as follows:
8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Team Registration
8:30 a.m. Coaches & Referee Meeting
9:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony
9:50 a.m. Competition Begins
1:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony Begins
4:00 p.m. Event Ends
Venue 1: Gillette Stadium
1 Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA
Venue 2: Franklin High School
218 Oak Street, Franklin, MA
Media planning on attending the event should contact Sarah Leong Oliver at SarahL@patriots.com. Media can check in at the registration tables.*
The annual Special Olympics Massachusetts Flag Football and Cheerleading event joins soccer, equestrian and senior sports as part of the organization's annual Fall Tournament series, taking place throughout the months of October and November.
About The New England Patriots
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit entity created by the Kraft family to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. This support comes in the form of direct grants and the donation of signed memorabilia to a variety of charitable causes, and from Patriots players who offer their direct support by appearing at charity functions throughout the year. The Foundation's primary goal is to support programs that aid the youth and families of New England while underscoring the Kraft family's deep commitment to philanthropic activities in the community. Over the past 18 years, the Foundation has made millions of dollars in donations to thousands of non-profit organizations throughout New England and has partnered with numerous community groups, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, the United Way, the Greater Boston Food Bank and a host of other New England charities. The Foundation actively supports nonprofit groups focusing on health, education, youth fitness and community enrichment while also implementing its own programs in those areas of focus. In seasons to come, the Foundation's Celebrate Volunteerism initiative aims to recognize deserving volunteers and inspire others to follow Myra Kraft's example of becoming a lifelong volunteer. For more information about Celebrate Volunteerism visit www.patriots.com/community.
About Special Olympics Massachusetts
Special Olympics Massachusetts provides year-round sports training, athletic competition, and other health-related programming for 12,168 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Athletes are given continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics Athletes and the community. More information is available at www.specialolympicsma.org.