PORTSMOUTH — In partnership with the Lindy Infante Foundation, Portsmouth city councilman Sean Dunne and Mayor Kevin Johnson — on behalf of Portsmouth City Council — helped gift more than 400 ‘Sports in a bag’ bags to the youth of the Scioto County area at Spartan Municipal Stadium on Thursday.
The LIF was founded in Infante’s honor to help promote youth sports activities to children in all parts of Ohio.
Infante — a native of Florida who spent 30-plus years coaching football at the high school, collegiate and professional levels — was the Quarterbacks coach for the 1981 Cincinnati Bengals, which fell to Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XVI.
“I reached out to them on Twitter, and right around that time they had an event in Columbus. I invited them down here to Portsmouth and they were great,” Dunne said of bringing the LIF to Scioto County. “They wanted to come down to southern Ohio, they were thankful that we reached out and we’re obviously thankful to give out the ‘sports in a bag.’”
Those who arrived at Spartan Stadium between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday had their option of three different ‘Sports in a bag’ bags — each of which included a jump rope, cones, a sports at-home instructional guide, and a choice of a soccer ball, football or basketball.
Following social distancing guidelines and restricting the flow of people out remained a focus to ensuring public safety at Thursday’s event.
Those accepting the free sporting goods for their children simply had to drive up, remain in their cars, and request their bag(s).
“It’s just people working together, and that’s what’s so great about our community, how people continue to come together, even in times like this,” Johnson said. “We did this as safely as we could as far as exercising the proper social distance, wearing masks. We didn’t even have anyone get out of their cars, we brought the sports bags right to the cars; lot of smiles today.”
Teachers from Portsmouth Elementary and Portsmouth High School were on hand at Spartan Stadium, volunteering to pass out the bags to the public.
The Lindy Infante Foundation is also responsible for tens of thousands in youth sports scholarships awarded each year to benefit those in need of financial assistance to participate in youth sports or further the experience of children in youth sports across Ohio.
“The goal of this is even if you’re home, you still need to be active,” Johnson said. “Certain things may be shut down, but exercise is not — you can still get outside and exercise.
If you’re interested in “Living Like Lindy” and helping contribute to the LIF and supporting youth sports in Ohio, visit lindyinfantefoundation.org to find out how you can donate to help families and children in need.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved