COVID-19 had a drastic impact on access to youth sports and physical activity. Children from high-need communities who often rely on school physical education and after-school programming for active play, social interaction, and positive experiences faced some of the most challenging implications of this crisis. As a response, Good Sports set out to restore play for millions of children to bring back joy, community, and well-being to their lives by distributing $15 million in sports equipment.
When we decided to launch our Restore Play initiative and set the goal of distributing $15 million in equipment, we knew this would be challenging. We also knew that we had a strong network of partners and supporters, a resilient staff, and determined community organizations that we could rely on and galvanize to help us overcome this challenge.
Thanks to a perfect assist from our network, we are elated to have officially surpassed $15 million in equipment donated across the country!
Good Sports implemented creative solutions to ensure that we could still serve children in need through equipment donations. We introduced an individual Play Pack model, which was a shift from our traditional donation structure. This proved to be vital in enabling children to play at home.
Our supporters were with us every step of the way during the initiative. Under Armour served as our first Restore Play partner, through a donation from their Healthy at Home Challenge. We also collaborated with the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation to provide sports equipment to over 20,000 children, in 16 cities across the country. We teamed up with Steph Curry and the Curry Brand, during the NBA All-Star to support basketball programming nationally, as the 7-time All-Star put on a show enroute to winning the Three Point Contest. And through strategic partnerships with foundations like the Arthur M. Blank Foundation, we were able to provide play opportunities for children in Georgia and Montana’s high-need communities that suffered severe setbacks.
Since the organization started, Good Sports’ equipment partners have always been an integral part of our success and this was no different with Restore Play. Under Armour, adidas, Nike, New Balance, and all our equipment partners ensured we had what we needed to impact and enable organizations to get back up and running quickly to provide play opportunities for children impacted by the pandemic. An important donation of over $2 million in equipment by Augusta, helped us better serve communities that needed our support at a critical juncture during the winter.
Messaging Restore Play to a broad audience was necessary to garner support for the initiative. FOX Sports was a major resource in helping us raise awareness about the work we wanted to accomplish. Through their family of networks and digital properties, they helped us spread the word about the initiative and collaborated with us to execute much-needed equipment donations throughout the nation. Thanks to FOX Sports, the Restore Play message reached more than 420 million viewers across numerous FOX Sports properties, including NFL, NASCAR, MLB, WWE, MLS and more.
A rapid response to the pandemic was imperative for us. Our Board of Directors and Advisory Boards provided strategic support in helping us navigate the everchanging landscape. Furthermore, Good Sports’ Young Professionals Boards played a significant role in contributing to the initiative’s triumph, by finding unique ways to virtually fundraise and raise awareness for Restore Play.
After all our signature fundraising events were cancelled due to the pandemic, individual donations became a massive part of the success of Restore Play. Our individual donors contributed over half a million dollars to support our operations during Restore Play and accounted for 25% of the funds raised during the initiative.
All this support and teamwork resulted in equipment donations to community programs such as the Western School of Science and Technology, who were able to serve 100 additional youth, enroll 30 more girls in physical activity, and increase play time by 90 minutes per week in Phoenix, Arizona. And other grassroots organizations like Project C.A.M.P. Inc. of The Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville, Kentucky who were able to improve the camp experience of low-income youth by providing the proper sports apparel to increase participation in all activities offered by their camp thanks to a donation from Good Sports. The perseverance of the community organizations and children we serve was inspiring and motivated our staff, who never wavered as they addressed every obstacle they faced.
We are grateful for all the support that we received for Restore Play. This is a monumental accomplishment that would not have been possible without all the generosity and benevolence that was extended throughout the initiative. Thank you to our partners, supporters, and community organizations for their commitment to Good Sports. We are truly humbled and appreciate what you have done—and continue to do— to get kids in need in the game.
We are proud of the work we accomplished over the last year, but we understand that there is still much to be done to ensure that children experience the lifelong benefits of sport and physical activity. Our priority continues to be serving communities in need.
As we continue to help communities address the implication of the pandemic, we also continue addressing other discrepancies such as equitable access to sport for girls nationwide. Our She Who Plays initiative will amplify our impact and open the door for more girls across the country to try traditional and nontraditional sports.
We look forward to providing more children the opportunity to experience the lifelong social, emotional, cognitive, and physical benefits of sport and physical activity.
THANK YOU TO OUR RESTORE PLAY PARTNERS
adidas – Atlanta Hawks – Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation – Chicago Bears – Chicago Cubs – Columbus Youth Foundation – DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundation – Dynamo Charities – Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust – Fight for Children – Fishlinger Family Foundation – FOX Sports – GEICO – Gray Foundation – Green Bay Packers – HarborOne Foundation – Jeffrey and Mary Smith Foundation – Liberty Mutual Foundation – Mabel Louise Riley Foundation – Miami Marlins Foundation – Major League Soccer – Nathaniel and Elizabeth Stevens Foundation – National Recreation Foundation – New Balance Foundation – Nike – Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation – Stack Sports – Theodore Edson Parker Foundation – Under Armour – Vuori Clothing – Washington Football Team – Wilson – Yawkey Foundation