Moms start flag football program to empower young girls

SOMERS, New York (WABC) -- It is one of the fastest-growing sports in northern Westchester - flag football for girls.

Two local moms started a program two years ago to empower young ladies, showing them that the sky is the limit.

It all started in Somers in 2018 to introduce them to sports and build confidence.

"It was for first and second graders, and one of the units we did for two weeks was flag football," said Katie DiChiaro, "And afterwards the girls loved it."

DiChiaro says the program started off small with ten girls, and now the program has 188 girls.

"It's now drawn other towns in, and other young girls from other towns," said Jenn Kisslinger

The Somers Youth Sports Organization flag football program has become so popular, with 22 teams from grades K-9 that Kisslinger and DiChiaro have launched Gridiron Partners to create opportunities for young girls in the Tri-State Area.

"We want to go as far as we can reach to help develop new programs," said Kisslinger

Now other towns, counties, and states are taking notice of the program, even hearing from the New York Giants and the Women's Gridiron Foundation.

"They actually asked us to help these other areas that didn't have a program yet, they asked us what we did to be successful," said DiChiaro, "so we've had zooms with them, and other programs."

"The main mission for us is that we really wanted these girls from the very beginning to feel like they didn't have a second thought that maybe they didn't belong somewhere," Kisslinger said.

Kisslinger and DiChiaro are in the process of working towards creating a team for a pilot varsity program for New York State Public High School Athletic Association by 2023.

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