Baseball receives funding from JJ Watt Foundation

JH Baseball receives $2,724 from JJ Watt Foundation
Posted on 02/03/2020
Sapulpa Junior High Baseball(SPS) -- “Congratulations! The Board of the Justin J. Watt Foundation is pleased to inform you that your Funding Request has been approved!”

That was the first line of an email Sapulpa Chieftains Varsity Baseball Coach Steve Irvine received in late January. Coach Irvine had applied for funding from the foundation to purchase new equipment for the Junior High Baseball program, and on Jan. 28, he got the good news.

“It’s huge,” said coach Irvine. “We’re definitely appreciative.”

Typically, Junior High teams get “hand-me-downs” from the varsity programs, and some of the gear the younger baseball players have been using has been around quite a while.

“We try to pass them down good things, but, as far as brand new stuff of this magnitude it hadn’t happened since I’ve been here and probably not for several, several years,” said Irvine.

The Justin J. Watt Foundation - which has provided more than $5,000,000 in funding to school athletic programs and organizations across the U.S. - issued a check worth $2,724 to go towards the purchase of new uniforms, baseballs, and helmets.

“The foundation supplies 30 baseball jerseys, 30 baseball pants. We’ll receive six batting helmets, a full set of catcher’s gear, catcher’s mitt, and a first baseman’s mitt,” said coach Irvine.

To receive the funding, a school must have an after-school athletics program for students between 6th and 8th grades, a need to replace outdated and worn-out uniforms and equipment, a safe and secure place to store new gear as well as other criteria. Coach Irvine also submitted a budget report and pictures of the equipment the Junior High program has been using.

“The Justin J. Watt Foundation is providing this funding as a means of support for your extracurricular and athletic activities that give children the opportunity to learn the basic character traits of accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic and perseverance while in a safe and supervised environment with their peers. We look forward to seeing the impact this program will make in the lives of the children,” said Connie L. Watt, Vice President of the foundation.

“Everybody knows JJ Watt’s name,” said coach Irvine. “We might have a few more Houston Texans fans. You never know.”

Coach Irvine said the gear has been ordered and he expects to see some of it delivered soon.

“The new stuff will be lighter material, you know, that dry fit,” said Irvine. “I think the kids will really enjoy them. They’ll be looking pretty sharp.”

“We’re really thankful for the JJ Watt Foundation.”

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