#PlayItForward for Lawrence Youth in 2021!

As one of the hardest-hit communities by COVID-19, Lawrence’s fields and courts are just starting to open. We are regularly hearing from players and parents that they need our in-person programs more than ever. Most young people are reporting higher levels of anxiety, isolation, and sedentariness, with city sports groups reaching only ¼ the # of kids compared to the same time last year. Young people need more opportunities to be in-person, safely playing, interacting with their peers, and learning from positive coach-mentors. However, in “high-risk” Lawrence, those opportunities have been scarce. These challenges have also forced us to rethink our approach and emphasize collaboration in our comeback, like the addition of Beyond Volley. We’re refocused on advocacy, including our role in local recovery efforts, plus our participation in the Lawrence Sports Leadership Collaborative, which’s all about restoring more meaningful, inclusive sports programs and pathways with a group of 15 other city sports groups. Creating more cohesion, trust, and collaborative problem solving amongst other athletic service providers is key to ensuring that every child, regardless of resources, reaps the benefits of play in 2021, and “beyond!”

Your #PLAYITFORWARD donation will help us continue these efforts with a particular focus on developing better quality programs that will reach more kids in 2021, including a more impactful menu of sports-based youth development programs focused on leadership development, youth jobs, academic support, and healthy, active living programs.