ESPN has announced it will grant $100,000 to Up2Us Sports to hire and train veterans to serve as youth-sports coaches in underserved communities in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Up2Us Sports' innovative coaching program provides returning, post-9/11 veterans the opportunity to transition to a career in sports while giving back to their community as a coach to as-risk youth. Veterans are hired and placed in youth sports programs that focus on using athletics to inspire life skills development among at risk youth. "Active service members and veterans are an important part of the fabric that makes up ESPN—these incredible individuals are our employees, our family members, our fans," said Kevin Martinez, vice president of Corporate Citizenship. "We are honored to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for us."
Tune in to ESPN this week for special programming and tributes honoring active military and veteran heroes. On Veterans Day,SportsCenter will be telecast from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and First Take will be live from Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Mass. ESPN also will televise the annual Armed Force Classic college basketball game on Friday from a U.S. Marine Corps base in Okinawa, Japan. For more information, visit www.ESPN.com/Citizenship.