The Baltimore Ravens and Under Armour have partnered with Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) to provide grant funding and uniforms for the development of high school girls' flag football programs in the fall of 2023. The announcement comes on National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), which is "a celebration that inspires girls and women to play and be active, to realize their full power."
The Ravens have committed three years of grant funding to 10 Frederick County high schools, rewarding the county's support of the initiative and for leading the way with its 2023 inaugural fall pilot program. The FCPS-member schools that join this program will play competitively in a fall calendar that mirrors other fall athletics facilitated by FCPS.
Under Armour – a leading inventor, marketer and distributor of branded athletic performance apparel, footwear and accessories – will outfit custom uniforms for each team.
This girls' flag football initiative aims to pave the way for female student-athletes in every Maryland county to eventually receive these same opportunities well into the future. Ultimately, the Ravens continue to seek opportunities for high schools statewide to develop new and innovative athletic activities that benefit the physical, social and emotional well-being of female student-athletes.
Through this partnership, Frederick County Public Schools will pilot flag football as an interscholastic girls' sport, marking the 29th sport offered by FCPS. As a school system committed to enhancing female athletic participation, FCPS is eager to pilot this fast-developing sport in each of its high schools.
Girls' flag football has seen steady growth throughout the country in recent years. Highlighted by a partnership between the NFL and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, flag football has become an emerging offering for girls.
"We are proud to partner with Frederick County Public Schools and Under Armour to bring this initiative to high schools this fall," Ravens senior vice president of marketing Brad Downs stated. "The Ravens have always been passionate about supporting opportunities to play football, so this initiative to expand participation to high school female student-athletes is one we look forward to continuing throughout Maryland for years to come."
"As a school system committed to providing exceptional education and equity in the classroom and on the field, I'm very proud that FCPS will be the first school system in the state to pilot flag football as an interscholastic girls' fall sport this coming 2023-24 school year," Kevin Kendro, Supervisor of Athletics and Extracurricular Activities, FCPS, stated. "We are very grateful for the Ravens' support and commitment, and we hope to pave the way for future participation throughout the state."
Additionally, all teams participating in the FCPS league will be included in Ravens RISE events and experiences.
About Frederick County Public Schools: FCPS serves nearly 50,000 students and more than 280,00 residents in 12 municipalities spread across 667 square miles. FCPS provides a diverse and inclusive learning environment, where excellence in college and career preparedness are paramount. The commitment to our community is to provide exceptional education and equity for "every child, every day."