Flag Football across the Czech Republic
One of our goals is to expose as many people to American football as we can. One way we can do that is to put two sets of flags ($30), two balls ($30), and a basic rule book in every gym class in every middle school in the country. Many of our contacts in the Czech Republic are gym teachers who are interested in teaching American football, but lack the tools to do so. We hope to accomplish this ambitious plan over a three-year period. With each set of gear and rule books that go out, we would like to also get a version of the SRDCE LVA leadership program in the hands of those gym teachers. That way we can focus on developing the character of students across the country and, eventually, across Europe.
Cooperating with Prague Lions Youth Teams
The Prague Lions American Football Club is the oldest American Football club in the Czech Republic. Members of the Interception Foundation have had a relationship with the Lions for most of the last 10 years. The Lions have a demonstrated desire to develop their team and players the "right way." One of the toughest challenges the Lions face is on the financial front, as the sport is still small and growing. The Lions have to fight for every dollar, or Czech crown, in this tough environment. The Lions have seen the lives of their players change. Many have improved their grades in school; some have removed themselves from an unhealthy life style. Even still, they must fight for their financial lives in market with teams who, simply put, take shortcuts. With that, one of the first projects of the Interception Foundation will be to help the youth programs of the Prague Lions maintain a healthy budget so that they can continue to make a difference in the lives of the young men and boys on their team. This is not a permanent project, however. The goal is for the Lions to continue to search for domestic sponsors and to eventually become self sustaining.
SRDCE LVA (HEART OF A LION) Project
Srdce Lva is the title of the leadership program that is taught to members of the Prague Lions Junior (high school age) team. The program teaches 5 core values that are not widely accepted in the Czech Republic and across most of the former communist Eastern Europe. These values are discipline, hard work, F.A.M.I.L.Y. (Forget About Me I Love You), courage, and faithfulness. We believe that these values are foundational in American football and can be best taught within the context of the game. Supporting this project includes developing and teaching, as well as translating and printing the curriculum.
Youth Football Camps
The sport of American Football is growing all across the Czech Republic and Europe. New teams are popping up nearly every season. Our desire is to serve the greater football community at large is to offer youth camps across the country and the continent. With so many teams popping up across the country there is a HUGE hole when it comes to basic techniques. Teaching basic techniques is not only vital for the continued growth of the sport, but it is also an issue of safety. We need to teach basic techniques to prevent serious injuries from happening. We have relationships with a number of high level teams in the US and in Europe and we hope to bring their knowledge and expertise to the teams of Czech Republic.
We also hope to use these camps to demonstrate a different kind of football than can be seen on TV on Sundays. We hope to disconnect the game from the ego-driven and money-driven world of the professional game and connect it to the core values that make this game great: self-sacrifice, teamwork, honor, respect, discipline, and the importance of having a strong work ethic.
Beyond financial and practical support, we hope to provide coaching clinics to teams around Czech Republic and Europe. There is a void of coaching experience across Europe. On the chance that there is a coaching clinic, these clinics focus entirely on the physical aspects of the game and no time on the development of a coach’s character as the coaches lead young men and boys. We believe that football coaches have the potential to be a life changing individual for their players. As coaches develop their own character, they will in turn have a positive influence on the players and coaches that work with them.
Part of Interception Foundations goal is to help with the tactical, strategic development of the game, as well as focus on the coach as a person. We hope to integrate character development into the curriculum covered at our coaching clinics. We would love to bring high school, collegiate and professional coaches over, but also men like Joe Ehrmann, author of INSIDE OUT COACHING: How Sports Can Transform Lives. Through this, we hope to serve the sports community beyond football, as well.
Equipment from Collegiate Programs
One the biggest hindrances for many teams here in Czech and throughout Europe is the need for safe equipment. Due to NCAA recruiting rules, college programs are not allowed to pass on their used, or in some cases new, equipment directly to high schools or sports clubs, for the fear, that it might be used to recruit players unfairly. I.F. would like to discover a way within the NCAA rules to serve as a “middle man” between collegiate programs and the programs overseas that are in desperate need of this very usable used equipment. The need for safe equipment is great. When we find equipment, we can make one or two phone calls and get that equipment into the hands of teams that desperately need it.