June 9, 2014
• Registration Information
MADISON, Wis. -- Former Wisconsin star J.J. Watt has made quite an impact on and off the field since joining the Houston Texans in 2011. Now, the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is returning to his Wisconsin roots to raise money for after-school opportunities for youth in his home state.
Watt will host the fourth-annual Justin J. Watt Foundation 5K Run/Walk at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewuakee on Saturday, June 21. This year, the event will also feature a kids-only 1K Fun Run. The Fun Run will start at 8:30 a.m., with the 5K event to follow at 10 a.m.
Funds raised from the event benefit the Justin J. Watt Foundation, a non-profit foundation Watt started in 2013. The mission of the foundation is to provide after-school opportunities for children to become involved in athletics so that they may learn the character traits of accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic and perseverance.
“We are thrilled to continue this event in my hometown and hope to provide the motivation and means to children to turn those big dreams and hard work into something incredible,” Watt said.
The spirit of giving is something Watt has passed on to his younger brothers, Derek and T.J., who have both dedicated extensive time to improving the Madison community while playing for the Badgers. In his junior year, Derek Watt was among the top 10 of all UW student-athletes in terms of hours volunteered.
“Giving back is important to our family because we are very fortunate to all be doing what we love and to have a family full of support,” Derek Watt said. “That being said, we realize that there are people out there in challenging situations and we want to do whatever we can to provide a spark of encouragement or simply try to brighten their day.”
T.J. Watt and several of his Badgers teammates will be in attendance at the event to help cheer on participants.
“We hope a lot of Badger fans come out to support J.J.’s efforts and a great cause,” T.J. said. “We’re excited to cheer the participants on.”
Fans wishing to participate can register online.
The Justin J. Watt Foundation is also accepting grant applications for school or after-school programs for children in grades six through eight. For more information, visit JJWFoundation.org.