Richmond Community High School P.E. teacher Linwood Hardy pleaded to his principal to give more money to his department since he started his job in education. Building the program from scratch 20 years ago, he was less than optimistic about how much longer it would last without the proper equipment.
After two decades of being unable to fulfill Hardy's financial request, a solution came on principal J. Austin Brown's desk. He received a flyer and an email about a video contest that would award the winners new athletic equipment.
For a shot at $25,000 worth of apparel, footwear and other necessities, Brown and Hardy turned to a group of sophomores that formed a video club for their financial solution.
"Those young people had done such a great job of making videos of issues that were student's concerns during the course of the school year," Brown said. "Their videos were really very, very good. I decided that I would give them a chance to produce this video because they had such a good job on the previous videos."
Having just started the club a year ago, the group of 10th graders managed to tackle a number of videos that were presented to them. When Brown approached the club about entering the Redskins' video contest, he told them that they had a week to complete the project in addition to making it one minute or less.
The students put together a video that showed how their school loved to participate in athletics, but did not have the funds to perform at their best. In the submission, the video's main point of purpose was showing that their equipment needed an upgrade by filming soccer goals breaking down and students playing with basketballs not having enough air in them.
After Brown watched the ultimate version, he was blown away and thought the school had a chance to claim one of the smaller prizes. He was amazed when he found out his school had won the entire contest.
"When I saw the final product, I said 'man, this is great. You guys really exceeded my expectations,'" Brown said. "I thought we had a chance we had to win something. I didn't know that would be the grand prize."
The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and Good Sports donated sports equipment to Richmond Community High School on Friday, August 3rd, 2018.
With the new equipment, Hardy plans on continuing to push the "lesser" sports so his students can look forward to coming to class. This challenge was difficult without new equipment because things would constantly get broken and the school did not have the budget to replace them right away, with electives taking a "backburner" to the other classes.
Having $25,000 worth of new items for his classes, Hardy hopes that it will allow the school to start an after school intramural club as well as the kids having more enjoyment.
"This is going to be a fun year," Hardy said. "I got so many choices to choose from now. The thing with P.E., a lot of kids get bored with P.E. because they do the same thing over and over again. Now, here, it'll be different because now they're not going to know what to expect when they come to the gym and that's going to make it exciting for them."
Going into the fourth year of the partnership between the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and Good Sports, they have distributed over $182,000 and served more than 27,000 kids in the Richmond area. The "Show Us How You Move" video contest resulted in five schools and youth sports programs from the Richmond area receiving a combined total of $57,000 in equipment that impacted more than 6,000 kids.
The organizations conducted a ceremony on Friday at the high school, where the equipment was revealed and a special appearance was made by players Kapri Bibbs, Dustin Hopkins, Anthony Lanier II, and Colt McCoy. Kids in attendance got to test out the new equipment, participating in fitness stations as well as playing gym games with the athletes.
"To see the Redskins give back to schools like this is amazing," Bibbs said. "This is what the world's all about. This is what getting a blessing is all about...I think the Redskins do a great job of always doing that, always giving back to the community, always giving us opportunities, ample opportunities, to come back and give to the community as well and that's real important. This is what we do we do. This is what we out here for."