NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than fifty percent of kids stop playing sports by age twelve, even though participation in sports is linked to higher school achievement, lower dropout rates, improved health, and enhanced self-confidence. Too many children aren't able to participate in sports due to the high cost of equipment. That's why ESPN, who strives to provide greater access to sports to youth across America, is sponsoring the Level Playing Field campaign with DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change. The campaign will bring much-needed sports equipment to the hands of those who need it.
Beginning today through October 31, young people across the country will collect gently-used sports equipment in their local communities to donate to underserved out-of-school sports programs in need. Young people will be able to sign up here for tips on how to run their drive and will be able to find local organizations, such as Boys & Girls Clubs, local parks departments, among others, to drop off their equipment. Young people who upload a photo of the sports equipment they collect will have the chance to qualify for a $5,000 scholarship.
"The high cost of sports equipment can be a significant barrier to entry, especially in underserved communities," said Kevin Martinez, vice president of corporate responsibility at ESPN. "This drive will enable greater access to sports so that more young people can be inspired by the power of sports."
Additionally, ESPN Social Media Correspondent Sarina Morales recorded a PSA encouraging fans to start a drive in their community. Morales' role at ESPN is to engage younger sports fans through a variety of different media platforms.
"It's frustrating to imagine all the sports equipment that's hanging around not being used. With the launch of Level Playing Field, young people are making sure spare sports equipment goes directly to communities in need," said Naomi Hirabayashi, Chief Marketing Officer at DoSomething.org. "The cost of equipment should never block a child's ability to feel confident and healthy through sports."
To view the public service announcement, click here.
To learn more about the Level Playing Field campaign, visit the microsite.
DoSomething.org makes the world suck less. One of the largest global orgs for young people and social change, our 4 million members tackle campaigns that impact every cause, from poverty to violence to the environment to literally everything else. Any cause, anytime, anywhere. *mic drop
About ESPN Corporate Citizenship
ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplifts the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use power of sport to positively address society's needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to www.espn.com/citizenship.