Local Businessowner Donates Football Cleats To High School Players
Last year, Kimberly Summy posted a comment on Facebook asking her friends and family to collect used cleats for the high school football players she works with at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.. Summy, a certified athletic trainer, soon received an email in response from Chuck Bollweg, co-owner of League Outfitters, a sports gear retail store based in North Laurel.
“Chuck emailed me right away and sent about dozen pair that year,” said Summy. “This year he generously offered to provide cleats for each of the players on our football team.”
Summy said Bollweg has made a huge difference for the young athletes, who receive brand new cleats for free from League Outfitters. “Working in southeast D.C. with an underserved population has its struggles,” she said. “It takes the generosity of organizations like League Outfitters to recognize the struggle and step in to provide a helping hand.”
This year, League Outfitters extended its offer of cleats to the entire state of Maryland. “I am proud to say we were able to fill every request we received from every high school football coach,” said Bollweg. “Kim Summy’s request last year moved us deeply and we sleep a lot better at night knowing we have helped out some young football players who need a helping hand.”
On the Field, Coaches Thankful
Ian Thomas, head football coach at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, said some of his players received cleats. “It was a tremendous help to us and our kids who were unable to afford new cleats this year. It was great for League Outfitters to give back and help these kids who work so hard everyday.”
Delbert Hughes, head football coach at Laurel High School, agreed: “It helped our team morale,” he said.
Several players from the Atholton High School football team in Howard County also received cleats from League Outfitters. “Receiving those cleats was very beneficial to our football team because some players can’t afford cleats,” said Edward (Bruce) Cummings, head football coach. “League Outfitters helped supply those kids with cleats which meant one less thing for our players to worry about.”
Bollweg said he has not kept track of exactly how many pairs of cleats League Outfitters has donated. He’s too busy filling orders. “We have 23 pair for Anacostia High School pulled and waiting to be picked up,” he said. “Most of the schools that came in picked up between 8 and 14 pair of football cleats.”
Giving the Best
The cleats League Outfitters donates are not secondhand or second-rate cleats, said Bollweg. “The cleats we give out are the best football cleats available and sell for anywhere from $70 to $100 a pair.”
When coaches request cleats, they bring their players to the store to be fitted. League Outfitters receives the foot size of the players, and their position on the team, beforehand so the store can have cleats ready when the players arrive. Bollweg tries his best to give players cleats in the colors they prefer.
So far, cleat donations have been received with a great deal of positive feeling, said Bollweg, though some coaches are surprised at his generosity.
“Many of the coaches we sent this offer to responded in the same way: what’s the catch? When they were told there was no catch, they seemed a little confused,” said Bollweg. “We have been blessed. League Outfitters is a company that believes in giving back to the community.”