August 30, 2016 / Sports

Advancing the haul: Football program receives big boost after winning grant

Gridiron greats: The KWATNY Foundation Football League received a $5,000 grant as part of SportsNet New York’s Play Ball campaign and plans to use the money towards new helmets, pads, and practice jerseys.
Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

They’re ready to hit and they’re going to look good doing it.

The Kwatny Foundation Football League scored a $5,000 grant on Aug. 25 as part of SportsNet New York’s annual Play Ball campaign. Representatives from the television station recently attended the squad’s practice at South Shore High School, filming the team for a feature which will run the on the network in late September. It’s a big-time boost for the program — which has helped spark youth interest in football since 2005 — and the grant will go towards much-needed helmets, shoulder pads, and practice jerseys for the take-all-comers program.

“It’s tremendous because every little bit helps,” league president Rahim Salahuddin said. “We see a lot of hardships coming in and we can’t ever see ourselves turning away anybody that really wants to play. So this is really important.”

Sahuddin applied for the Play Ball grant every year but considered skipping the application process this time around after years of rejection. But he changed his mind at the last minute and sent in his paperwork on the final night of open entry, he said.

“I’m an expert at filling out grants, because I’m usually getting denied,” Sahuddin said. “I did this one on the last day and, lo and behold, a few weeks later, they gave me a call, and I was so excited to hear back from them.”

Sahuddin wasn’t the only one who was excited. His players — more than 100 local kids ranging from 5-year-old “tiny mites” to middle schoolers — were thrilled to hear that they’d be sporting brand-new gear at practice later this year.

“It’s going to be great to have all-new stuff,” said 12-year-old Crown Heights native Dondre Simmons. “I’m just happy to be playing.”

More than 40 program athletes have gone on to Division-I programs since the foundation’s inception in 2005 — something that played a large part in SportsNet New York’s grant decision. Sahuddin is determined to provide a safe haven for area kids, even if it’s just a few hours on a football field, and this grant help keeps that dream alive, he said.

“You just got to do what you can, but it’s a struggle,” Sahuddin said. “With what’s going on in society, we’ve just got to stay abreast and on top of our game. We grab whoever we can grab. We can’t save everyone, but the ones that we do is a plus.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: