Matt Leinart Founation
Urban Youth Football League
One of our largest and fastest growing programs is our Urban Youth Football League. The UYFL has over 200 children from inner-city Los Angeles and inner-city Santa Ana. The UYFL is a full-contact football league held in the spring at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. This program is for 7th and 8th grade boys who have the desire and will to play tackle football but lack the means. Every Saturday the boys are bussed to Mater Dei from their respective grade schools around LA and Santa Ana for a 6 hour day of football, instruction and games. The boys are given physicals before they are cleared to play and fed healthily lunches. The athletic aspect is just one way the UYFL has affected these children’s lives. During our season twice a week our Coaches go into the boy’s school for an hour of study hall and an hour of position specific drills. Our Coaches have worked tirelessly to instill positive values into these boys and help them become productive citizens. We are giving these children another choice in life, when, for the most part their only choice is gangs or drugs.
In addition to gang prevention, we have also been successful in teaching them better eating habits. We have had several children win their battle with obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Through the physical screening process we have identified irregular heartbeats, heart murmurs and other previously unidentified ailments.
The UYFL is designed for those kids who cannot afford to play in traditional leagues or who cannot make the weight for their league. Of our 200 kids from 8 different schools 70 to 80% have never played a down of football in their lives. With your help we can continue to affect change in these your boys lives and expand to help more young me become productive citizens.