The NMAA made the announcement on Thursday that they will be teaming up with former college football official, NFL official, and now NFL Analyst, Mike Pereira. Pereira started a non-profit organization, which is called Battlefields to Ballfields, and it is meant to get veterans into officiating at the high school level.
“If you ask veterans, what do you miss about being in the service? They say they miss their brothers and they miss being apart of a team and this is allowing them that,” said B2B President Mike Pereira.
This initiative gives out scholarships to veterans, and it includes costs for all equipment and uniforms necessary in the sport they select, NASO membership, extra training, and even local mentorship. It gives veterans a chance to be apart of something, but this is also a big deal for this state, as this will mark the first state wide trail of this initiative.
“It’s exciting, it’s a little bit scary. It’s always a bit scary when you are the first, but we are just so excited and honored to have it here in New Mexico. I just thought it was a mutually beneficial foundation, both for veterans and officials, since we are in a crisis mode with the regard to the need of numbers,” said Dana Papas, who is the Commissioner of Officials at the NMAA, and a big reason for this initiative coming to New Mexico.
To find out more info on how you can help by donating, joining, or referring veterans, click here.