CHARLOTTE – A crisp autumn afternoon on the Carolina Panthers practice fields was punctuated by cheers, applause and smiles as the Panthers welcomed Challenger Flag Football League teams from across the two-state region for an end-of-season celebration tournament. The Panthers Challenger Flag Football League serves children and young adults with disabilities in partnership with park and recreation departments in North and South Carolina.
"The Challenger League is one of our favorite efforts and we value our strong partnerships with park and recreation agencies in our region that play such an important role in providing the opportunity to children and families," said Panthers director of community relations Riley Fields. "We've learned over the years the program helps produce amazing benefits for the players and Spirit Squad members. In addition to the simple joy of playing on a team, the confidence levels, social skill development and other positive outcomes it produces make the program truly special."
This year's tournament featured teams from the following park and recreation departments:
- Durham Parks and Recreation
- Greensboro Recreation and Parks
- Henderson-Vance Recreation and Parks
- Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation
- Richland County Recreation Commission
Now in its 13th season, funding for the Panthers Challenger League is provided in part by grants from Carolina Panthers Charities so the program may be offered at no or low cost to families.