UNC partners with fitness nonprofit to support youth sports

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina is partnering with the National Fitness Foundation in its work to raise awareness and funding for youth sports and physical-education programs.

Foundation executive director Clay Walker said the partnership announced Wednesday is the first for an NCAA institution. The congressionally chartered nonprofit offers grants and training with the goal of improving youth health through fitness and sports.

Athletics director Bubba Cunningham said UNC is still developing plans, such as possibly having coaches running instructional clinics – virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic or eventually in-person — for adults coaching local youth teams.

“They’ll show up if the assistant basketball coach shows up or the assistant baseball coach goes and works with the little league coaches,” said Cunningham, adding that UNC will partner with a local fundraising group benefitting youth sports programs in areas with limited resources.

Walker said the UNC partnership is a “pilot model” with the goal of expanding to other NCAA schools for “direct local impact.” The foundation’s partnerships include the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers, AAU and private companies.

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