Youth from the Ukranian Leauge of American Football show their appreciation to the A-C Valley / Keystone Youth Football program for the monetary donation to help kick-start flag football programs throughout central Ukraine.

In a world often divided by conflict, the A-C Valley/Keystone Youth Football Association (A-C Valley/Keystone Y.F.A.) is making a significant impact by financially contributing to the introduction of flag football in schools across central Ukraine. Teaming up with A18 Missions, a 501c(3) organization led by former Parker, PA resident Todd Gallagher, and collaborating with the Ukrainian League of American Football (U.L.A.F.) president, Yevhen Khomyn, this initiative is bringing a ray of hope to the youth of Ukraine amid the challenges of war.

The youth of Ukraine, currently navigating through the third year of conflict, have faced daily air raid sirens and uncertainties. In an effort to provide encouragement and promote a positive outlet, the A-C Valley/Keystone Y.F.A., along with A18 Missions and U.L.A.F., is introducing American flag football to schools throughout Ukraine.

With financial support from the A-C Valley/Keystone Y.F.A., more than 20 schools have been equipped and trained to kick-start the flag football program. The initiative involves distributing necessary flags and footballs to schools and conducting training clinics for Physical Education teachers. These clinics, held in Gallagher’s town of Vinnytsia, Ukraine, aim to ensure that educators are well-prepared to teach and coach the students effectively.

The response from school officials and students, both boys and girls, has been overwhelmingly positive. The introduction of flag football has not only provided a physical activity outlet but also fostered a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among the youth. The program has become a source of joy and motivation for students who have been living amidst the challenges of war.

As a testament to the success of the program, over 80 additional schools have expressed interest in joining the initiative, prompting the creation of a waiting list for introduction to the sport. The enthusiasm and demand for flag football in Ukrainian schools highlight the potential for sports to serve as a unifying force and a source of inspiration during difficult times.

President of U.L.A.F., Yevhen Khomyn, envisions utilizing the program to cultivate fresh talent, with hopes of fielding a competitive football team for the 2028 International Olympic Games. The dream of representing their country on an international stage is fueling the passion of the Ukrainian youth, and the A-C Valley/Keystone Y.F.A.’s financial support is instrumental in turning this vision into reality.

One noteworthy aspect of this initiative is the equal interest shown by both boys and girls in flag football. Breaking traditional gender barriers, the sport has become a platform for inclusivity and empowerment, allowing young girls to participate and excel in a typically male-dominated field.

In conclusion, the A-C Valley/Keystone Y.F.A.’s financial contribution to bringing flag football to the youth of Ukraine, in partnership with A18 Missions and U.L.A.F., is a shining example of sports transcending boundaries and bringing positivity to challenging circumstances. Through this initiative, the youth of Ukraine are finding hope, camaraderie, and a new found passion for a sport that has the potential to shape their futures positively.

As the program continues to gain momentum, Todd Gallagher and A18 Missions are actively seeking additional support. They invite individuals and organizations to make tax-deductible contributions to further expand the reach of this initiative and positively impact the lives of Ukrainian youth. Contributions can be sent to A18 Missions Inc., 102 Seward St., Parker PA 16049, or [email protected].