As schools cut programming, pro athletes fundraise for children with special needs

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Special Forces Sports Foundation launches 2023 Goal Post Event in partnership with professional athletes.

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If we reach our goal of raising $150,000 through the 2023 Goal Post Event, we can provide physical activities and inclusive social interaction to kids with special needs and expand the program to more regions within the country.

Professional athletes nationwide are uniting to raise money for sports programming for children with special needs. The 2023 Goal Post Event is an annual fundraiser for the Special Forces Sports Foundation (SFSF), which connects athletes at all levels with special needs students eager to engage in inclusive Sports experiences.

The fundraiser runs January 10 through January 31, 2023. All donors are eligible to win several prizes — including the Deluxe Super Bowl Package, which features two game tickets, a $500 flight voucher, a hotel stay, and a $200 Visa gift card. The more you donate, the better your chances of winning, as every increment of $20 is an entry. Posting on social media using the #2023GoalPost tag will also double your chances of winning.

The professional athletes who are promoting #2023GoalPost include:

  • Robert Turbin — (retired) Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl champion; Indianapolis Colts
  • JJ Taylor — New England Patriots
  • Chase Claypool — Chicago Bears
  • Miles Boykin — Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Dave Des Rochers — (retired) Seattle Seahawks
  • Javon Mckinley — Detroit Lions; Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Quincy McMahon — UCLA women’s soccer 2022 national champions
  • Lonnie Paxton — (retired) New England Patriots Super Bowl champion
  • Jared McCain — Gatorade State player of the year,
  • Mikayla Nielsen — motoX racer
  • Will Sutton — (retired) Chicago Bears
  • Brandon Magee — (retired) Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Dallas Cowboys; Boston Red Sox

“Sports should be accessible to all, which is why these professional athletes are coming together to raise funds and awareness for this vital program,” said Matt Lance, founder of the Special Forces Sports Foundation. “At a time when schools are cutting funding for physical education and extracurricular programs, SFSF is a lifeline to kids with physical and developmental needs.”

“If we reach our goal of raising $150,000 through the 2023 Goal Post Event, we can provide physical activities and inclusive social interaction to kids with special needs and expand the program to more regions within the country,” said Mike Gunderson, an SFSF board member and founder of Gunderson Direct, the foundation’s marketing partner.

To donate to #2023GoalPost, visit

About Special Forces Foundation

Since 2018, Special Forces Sports Foundation has provided children with special needs opportunities for physical activity and inclusive social interaction while also building compassion and empathy in youth/college athletes. The foundation offers two free programs.

Special Forces Sports Day is a carnival-style event for children of all abilities and is hosted in partnership with local school districts. This ensures every student (regardless of socioeconomic status, transportation issue, etc.) the access to be able to participate. During the event, high school/collegiate athletes run interactive stations and share the love of their sport with children with special needs. All participants receive lunch and a t-shirt.

Nothing But Nets Rec League is an after-school sports experience partnering with club sports organizations to bring inclusive sports programming to communities. Over six weeks, athletes teach the participants with special needs drills to build their skills in a sport like volleyball, basketball, or soccer.

Special Forces Sports was founded by Matt Lance, an assistant coach of a successful high school football program in California. In 2017, after transportation obstacles prevented his students from attending a special needs event, Lance founded SFSF to ensure local students never missed another opportunity for inclusive athletic events.

Lance went on to pilot an event with a colleague that exploded in popularity and evolved into Special Forces Sports Day. In 2019, SFSF launched Nothing But Nets, its recreational league programming, which now runs in California and Utah. Pending the success of #2023GoalPost, Special Forces Sports Days and Nothing But Nets will expand to additional states.

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