Falcons Owner International Donation

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, seen here on Oct. 13, 2019, in Glendale, Arizona, has long been committed to improving access to youth sports in Montana.

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Two free girls flag football clinics are coming to Montana this month as part of a longstanding commitment by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank to make youth sports accessible in the state.

Blank’s philanthropy has brought football camps to Montana in years past, but this is the first clinic specifically geared toward girls flag football it has offered here.

The clinics will be held from noon-3 p.m. on Aug. 18 at the University of Montana’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium and from noon-3 p.m. on Aug. 19 at Montana State’s Bobcat Stadium. There is no cap on the number of spots available.

The clinics are open to girls entering eighth grade through 12th grade. All skill levels are welcome. 

All participants will receive a free T-shirt, food and other merchandise. Attendees will receive instruction from NFL FLAG experts and former NFL players including Buddy Curry (Falcons, 1980-87), Bobby Butler (Falcons, 1981-92) and Izell Reese (Cowboys, Broncos and Bills, 1998-04).

Similar outreach by Blank and the Falcons has helped spur the sanctioning of girls flag football as a high school sport in Georgia and Alabama in the last three years.

Blank owns multiple ranches in Montana and has long made an effort to include the state in his philanthropic efforts, said Chris Millman, the vice president of community relations for AMB Sports + Entertainment, the parent group of the Falcons.

The Montana High School Association executive board approved a pilot program for girls flag football earlier this year. The first two years of the program will be funded through the Atlanta Falcons and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. 

One of the objectives of holding the clinics is to help girls flag football grow in the state to the point that it might also be fully sanctioned in Montana high schools. 

“What we’re trying to do is use our collective energy, resources and spotlight being in the National Football League to help bring a new sport to the state of Montana on the high school level for girls,” Millman said, “and we believe flag football is a great opportunity for these young women to experience this great game that we have an opportunity to play every day.”

To register for a clinic, contact community relations coordinator Danielle Renner at danielle.renner@falcons.nfl.com.

Registration for the Bozeman clinic can also be achieved online here. To register for Missoula’s clinic, click here.

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Parker Cotton can be reached at pcotton@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @ByParkerCotton.