The JJ Watt foundation began back in 2011 with one goal in mind, help middle schools in need of funding for after school athletics. To this day, they have donated 4.6 million dollars to over 450 schools across the nation. One of the most recent communities the foundation has helped, is Miami, Oklahoma.
The Wardogs are done with their final workouts before 4th of July break, but there’s no rush to leave, because waiting for them are 50 brand new helmets, shoulder pads and cheerleading mat. All received through the JJ Watt Foundation, founded by the 3-time defensive player of the year, and one of the greatest to ever play the game of football.
“It was Pretty cool that he’s won Walter Payton man of the year and he’s donating all these to these other schools” said Braylon Riley, an 8th grade football player.
Braylon’s teammate, Ryan Hayes was grateful for the new equipment, “Usually not very many towns get this opportunity to get new pads, thank you JJ Watt”.
Now today means much than new bells and whistles for these middle schoolers but the new shoulder pads helmets and cheerleading mats will improve their safety as well.
Miami High head football coach, Zach Gardner appreciates the increased safety for his future athletes, “Kids at this age, if they are experience an injury, it can end their career if we don’t have the proper, attire to protect the kids. And we have top-notch helmets and shoulder pads right now and that’s key, for us to have success.”
As Watt gained new fans today, the athletes he helped found a new role model, “You know if we had 40 kids here today, if one or two of them end up being in the position that JJ Watt’s in right now, you hope they take it and pay it forward from it.” began Miami school district athletic director, Chad Davis, “You hope that’s what they learn from it. The fact that you selfelessly give, uhh, to schools just like us, is really incredible and we need a lot more people like JJ Watt and his mother Connie and their foundation. We need more people like that around us, and in this world.”