#PlayItForward for Lawrence Youth!

As one of the hardest-hit communities by COVID-19, fields and courts remain closed. Lawrence youth are also reporting high levels of anxiety, with city sports groups reaching only ¼ the # of kids as compared to the same time last year. Despite these concerning trends, we’re proud of the ways our coaches have maintained meaningful connections with players, including regular wellness checks, Zoom calls, and next-level remote programs that reward kids for practicing their skills, helping friends & families, and staying active. It’s obvious that kids want to be in person, playing, and learning with their teammates. However, in “high-risk” Lawrence, those options aren’t possible. These challenges have forced us to rethink our approach and emphasize collaboration in our comeback, like the addition of Beyond Volley. We’re also refocused on advocacy, including our role in local recovery efforts, plus our participation in the Lawrence Sports Leadership Collaborative with co-founder Everyone’s A Player, that’s all about restoring more meaningful, inclusive sports programs when we get that green light. Creating more cohesion, trust and collective problem solving amongst city sports groups 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 special 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, academic support, and healthy, active living programs.