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UW Athletics Helps Youth League Replace Damaged Gear

Brock Fritz

A Wisconsin nonprofit will continue offering youth football thanks in part to the help of the UW-Madison athletic department.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that the UW worked with several equipment providers to outfit East Side Youth Athletics after a 2019 fire damaged the organization’s storage facility, ruining all helmets and jerseys.

“Since the fire happened, we have been worried that we may not be able to continue assisting our families and neighbors by coaching football and helping to teach our kids the values of hard work, self-determination, team work and discipline into the growing foundation of Madison’s north and east sides,” East Side Youth Athletics director Steele Morton said. “We’ve been trying to recover from that (fire) and the pandemic over the last year.”

UW officials heard the story and worked with Under Armour, Riddell and Signature Concepts to replace the equipment. The organization, which is open to kids up to eighth grade, offers football for about 150 football players and 20-30 cheerleaders each year.

“I found out about it from a parent of one of the kids,” UW deputy athletic director Chris McIntosh said, noting that he told Wisconsin football coach Paul Chryst about the organization’s struggles. “It seemed like one of those things, given the relationships and partnerships that we have, it seemed like a good opportunity for us to see if we could help.

“They’ve got a lot of kids under their umbrella, a bunch of kids that rely on their program.”

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