Rich Von is an avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast who fully believes in the value of sports participation in instilling values in children. When he isn’t busy running his business, Rich Von supports the community by coaching youth on his local Pop Warner Football team. Recently, Rich Von spoke with Aicube Blog about the important role Pop Warner Football plays in building stronger communities.
Aicube: What led you to Pop Warner Football?
Rich Von: I was an avid supporter of local high school football when my son played football while in school. He graduated and moved on but I still had that desire to support community sports.
Aicube: Tell us a little about Pop Warner Football.
Rich Von: In general, Pop Warner provides young people the chance to learn dance, football, and cheerleading from a young age, preparing them to participate once they get to school.
Aicube: Is this a nationwide program?
Rich Von: Yes. It’s estimated that more than 425,000 youth throughout the country participate in the programs Pop Warner provides.
Aicube: What is the age range of Pop Warner participants?
Rich Von: Children generally are as young as five and as old as sixteen in the program.
Aicube: There are quite a few youth-oriented sports programs in the country. What sets Pop Warner apart?
Rich Von: As far as I know, Pop Warner is the only such program available in the U.S. that has an academic requirement attached to participation.
Aicube: What is the academic requirement?
Rich Von: To participate in Pop Warner’s programs, youth must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA or whatever the equivalent for a particular area is. That is a C average or greater.
Aicube: How long has Pop Warner Football been around?
Rich Von: The program was created in 1929—interestingly, the men who founded it were simply trying to solve the problem of bored youth constantly shattering their windows by tossing rocks at them.
Aicube: That is an important issue Pop Warner solves…
Rich Von: It has been shown that participation in sports helps channel a young person’s energy into productive channels. It also teaches children discipline and the thrill of competition.
Aicube: There is also a national championship for Pop Warner participants. Can you tell us a little about that?
Rich Von: Sure! Pop Warner has a yearly Super Bowl where the best of the best compete to be national champions in their particular age range.
Aicube: How does a young athlete become involved in Pop Warner Football?
Rich Von: Signup is available on Pop Warner’s site at popwarner.com. Registration costs $150-$200 on average, but this can vary depending on location.
Rich Von is one of the founders of Von Vesting, Inc., an organization that specializes in real estate investing. An avid outdoorsman, Rich Von believes coaching gives him the chance to give back to his community in a way that also indulges his love for the game.