Anyone who knows Phil Squatrito understands his passion and drive for ALL that he does in life. Phil leads an incredibly active lifestyle as owner and head coach of Training for Warriors Ponte Vedra Beach. He is also the father of four children, three of which are girls. What’s a high energy dad to do with three girls to let off steam? You got it — FLAG FOOTBALL. I have to admit, as a mom I never thought of putting my daughter in flag football. It really wasn’t a “girl sport” when I was growing up nor was it when my now 21 year old daughter was younger. Well, times they are changing and coach, father and husband, Phil Squatrito is helping to pave the way with Girlpower NFL Flag Football coming to Ponte Vedra Beach. I connected with Phil recently to chat about Girlpower and get all the details.
WHAT IS GIRLPOWER? Girlpower NFL Flag Football will be played under the lights of Davis Park in Ponte Vedra. January 2022 will begin the inaugural season merging with the NFL for a truly first class experience of 5 on 5 NFL Flag Football on Sunday night. The mission of Girlpower is to give all girls the opportunity to play and compete with a strong emphasis on team building, sportmanship, positivity, enthusiasm and effort. What sets Girlpower apart from other leagues? Girlpower coaches and teams will offer encouragement and celebrate success together regardless of the scoreboard. All girls will play in all games each week, improve their self esteem, confidence and skill set in a FUN environment.
HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED – Girlpower was a vision Phil Squatrito had when he saw that girls didn’t have the same opportunity as boys in the sport. “Everything in the area is co-ed around here which is great but you know how it is with boys picking on girls and then they never really want to play. Having three daughters and seeing how some of the coaches were running the leagues that existed, I felt that there was a need for something just for girls. I wanted something special and unique to empower girls, to get them to fall in love with football, fall in love with playing together, to find the camaraderie, the skills and the character that is built in between the lines of the field.” And so it began!
As the girls league was developed change began to be noticed. The girls confidence grew, their self esteem grew, and the love for football grew. Dad’s were bonding with their daughters over the sport they have loved as kid and now adults. In just three years the league blossomed from 16 girls to over 100 girls. Phil says “The girls come out weekly, they are forming friendships and bonds, forming this big army of girls that regardless of the scoreboard, they celebrate eachother’s successes and they get excited for eachother. They are truly building that strength, confidence, and love for the game with eachother. One of the most incredible things about it is to see how great they get at this sport and how they get to go to another level with this Girlpower League, to give them their own stage and their own spotlight outside of a co-ed environment.” When asked how far he would like to see Girlpower NFL Flag Football go, Phil replied “Hopefully we’re able to get this into the high schools, hopefully it’s an opportunity to showcase their skills and want to play at the higher level and into college. It’s all about opportunity, confidence, mental fortitude and empowerment of these girls. The sky is the limit!”
January 2022 begins the “Greatest Show on Turf,” known as Girlpower NFL Flag Football. You will not only see electricity, passion and enthusiasm but a group of young girls grow. Not just growing as a team but growing as a league competing in a healthy, positive environment with one another where everyone plays and everybody wins. Registration is now open through December 1, 2021 for 1st-3rd grade and 4th-7th grade divisions. No experience necessary.
Jenn Heller is the Operations Manager for The Volen Group, Keller Williams Luxury International, with over 17 years experience in Real Estate. She is a Jacksonville resident via Long Island, NY since 1991, a crafter, chalk painter and an avid fitness enthusiast.