Sports Matter. Decades of research show sports and physical activity are the solution to the critical challenges facing youth. The hard data shows sports are good for youths’ brains, bodies, and futures. Yet, frequently slashed school budgets result in disappearing or financially inaccessible opportunities. The youth who need sports the most are the least likely to have access to high-quality opportunities they can afford. At Up2Us, our mission is to turn this tide. We are excited to partner with the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation on an innovative new campaign, Sports Matter. The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believes Sports Matter. To act on this, DICK’S came to two conclusions about what the company can do to turn that belief into impact:
- Focus resources on one of the worst outcomes of this crisis—entire teams disappearing or never competing at all due to severe financial challenges.
- Strengthen and expand communities of support that already step up to make high-quality youth sports available for young people around the country.
The Sports Matter initiative will raise awareness of the youth sports funding crisis and match community donations up to $2 million on a new crowdfunding platform to save or start teams facing financial challenges. Participating teams will commit to raising ½ of the total funding they need, and those that reach their funding goal will receive a matching grant from the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation. Youth (K-12) sports teams affiliated with a school or non-profit are eligible to apply IF they fall into one of three categories:
- Team is no longer able to play because of funding challenges.
- Team is on the brink of not being able to play because of funding challenges.
- Youth interest in a sports team exists, but funding challenges have prohibited the creation of a team.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, click here to learn more and/or sign up for one of our technical assistance webinars covering the Sports Matter application process on February 13, February 19, or March 11. Even if this opportunity isn’t right for you, please help us spread the word to any teams or coaches that you think could benefit from this incredible opportunity. Applications will be accepted until March 21, or until 575 applications are submitted, whichever comes first.