PITTSBURGH, Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- DICK'S Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), along with The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation, announced today the release of a short film that shines a light on why sports matter and how we, as a nation, can come together to help solve the youth sports funding crisis.
Sports Matter – A Holiday Assist captures the story of the funding struggles of the Anchorage School District girls' ice hockey program. DICK'S and The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation heard that the girls league would no longer exist after this year due to budget cuts and lack of other sources of funding.
"Our Sports Matter program was created to help fight the youth sports funding crisis in our country," said Lauren Hobart, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, DICK'S Sporting Goods and President of The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation. "We know that the lessons kids learn playing sports last them a life time, and we believe that all children deserve to have access to sports."
An estimated 27% of U.S. public high schools will not have any sports programs by 2020 (1). Studies show the positive influence sports have on student athletes, enabling them to have more success in school, build social skills and resist peer pressure.
"We're so thankful for what DICK'S and The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation did for our teams," said Mandy Reale, Hockey Director of the Scotty Gomez Foundation in Anchorage. "A gesture like this proves to the girls that people care about them – people that don't even live or work here want to make sure that they can still play hockey. There's not even a DICK'S store anywhere in the state of Alaska!"
The $200,000 grant will fund the teams through a donation to the Scotty Gomez Foundation, an organization founded by current National Hockey League player Scotty Gomez, who is from the Anchorage community. The Scotty Gomez Foundation stepped-in three years ago to provide the league with the funding they needed at that time to continue and have been operating the league ever since. The donation will cover the operating fees for the league and fund each of the girls' pay-to-play fees through the 2018 season.
DICK'S Sporting Goods also surprised the girls with more than $15,000 worth of new gear and equipment, including 100 sticks, 100 helmets, practice jerseys, equipment bags, goalie equipment and buckets full of new pucks to ensure these athletes are playing safely.
"I'm so excited that these girls get to keep playing," said NHL player Scotty Gomez "It was a tough situation to realize that these girls may not be able to take the ice next season after all we had done in the past to keep them playing. You never want to let anyone down, especially the people in your hometown. I'm so thankful for this funding from DICK's and its Foundation."
For more information on Sports Matter, or to watch the short film, visit SportsMatter.org.
Source:(1) Up2Us Sports
About DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. Founded in 1948, DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. is a leading omni-channel sporting goods retailer offering an extensive assortment of authentic, high-quality sports equipment, apparel, footwear and accessories. As of October 31, 2015, the Company operated 645 DICK'S Sporting Goods locations, serving and inspiring athletes and outdoor enthusiasts to achieve their personal best through a blend of dedicated associates, in-store services and unique specialty shop-in-shops. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, DICK'S also owns and operates Golf Galaxy, Field & Stream, True Runner and Chelsea Collective specialty stores. For more information, visit the Press Room at DICKS.com.
About The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation is an exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with a mission to inspire and enable sports participation. It was created by DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. as a private corporate foundation to support DICK'S charitable and philanthropic activities.
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