Hip Hop Icon Snoop Dogg’s Youth Football Program Opens 2011 Season with Eight Chapters
Chicago, IL (March 5, 2011)--Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL) officials announced their Chicago Executive Board, partners and plans for the 2011 season on Saturday, March 5, 2011. SYFL’s Commissioner Haamid Wadood flew into the windy city from Los Angeles to announce the Chicago team, which includes a woman as head and a former Chicago Bear as Vice President.
The league appointed 37-year-old Tonja Styles (pictured center) as President of an eight member executive board. Styles, an entertainment cause-marketing executive, spearheaded the initiative to bring Snoop’s league into Chicago in 2010 as an answer to the youth violence plaguing the city. Styles has worked for over seven years with various hip hop artists and their philanthropic initiatives including hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, Kanye West, Common, and more.
Styles, a Chicago native, tagged former Chicago Bear and Super Bowl Champion Otis Wilson (pictured right) as Vice President of the league, partnering with his organization, The Otis Wilson Foundation, to offer health and fitness conditioning training for SYFL youth athletes.
The two outlined plans for the Chicago expansion during a press conference at Park 52 in Hyde Park announcing four new chapters servicing the west, south and north sides of the city. The Chicago Chargers (West Side), The Jets (North Side/Pilsen), The Southside Seahawks (Roseland/Blue Island) and The Raiders (Cabrini Green) make up the four chapters already signed under SYFL Chicago. The chapters currently service youth in two Chicago housing authority developments: Alba Homes (The Jets) and Cabrini Green (The Raiders), with plans to include Altgeld Gardens and Dearborn. Each chapter will open with six divisions in football and cheer for kids ages 7-14.
“This is a great day for the youth of the city of Chicago. They deserve a real chance. And it’s a great day for hip hop. When the Derrion Albert tragedy shocked the world and embarrassed this city, the hip hop artists were the first to respond, from Nas to Bow Wow to Swizz Beatz; because they come from the same conditions and challenges these kids are facing. But it was Snoop who had a “real” program that offers a “real” alternative to the streets. We can’t continue to say, “Stop the Violence,” and not offer something in its place, said Styles, the mother of a 12-year-old son.
The rap star’s after school program offers football, cheer and scholastics. Students must maintain a certain GPA to play in the league. Plans are underway to offer scholarships for SYFL athletes going to college, sports medicine internships and the development of a digital media academy.
Snoop started the league seven years ago in South Central L.A. with $1 million of his own money. SYFL services nearly 4,000 youth throughout California. Chicago was the first city outside of California to get teams. Las Vegas will join Chicago on the 2011 SYFL roster.
For more information about the Snoop Youth Football League visit www.snoopyfl.net. Please send all inquires on SYFL Chicago to firstname.lastname@example.org. For donations send to SYFL Chicago, John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan Avenue, 31st Floor, Chicago, IL 606011.