Guest Blogger: Kevin Martinez, Vice President, Global Corporate Outreach, ESPNEvery day at ESPN, we live and breathe sports. Beyond instant highlights and scores, we understand that involvement in sports is a transformational experience – especially for young people – and we use that awareness to guide our corporate social responsibility priorities. At the most basic level, our goal is simple. We want to improve access to sports programs for youth worldwide and DonorsChoose.org is a perfect match in this pursuit.For young people, sports are an avenue to pursue good physical and mental health, make friends, learn teamwork, develop social skills and gain acceptance. This is especially important in underserved communities and school districts across the nation where funding for sports programs and equipment is inadequate.Through our collaboration with DonorsChoose.org and the generous support of donors like you, we’ll help put football, baseball, soccer, volleyball, golf, softball and physical education equipment into classrooms across the U.S. Let’s recognize sports as an effective and essential part of a complete education and ensure that sports opportunities continue to exist in schools. ESPN will match $150,000 toward DonorsChoose.org projects – efforts that truly provide maximum access to the benefits of sports for underserved youth.Read any one of the projects we’ve selected to help fund and you’ll notice a common theme:
- "The number one goal in my gym is for students to learn how to work effectively as a group while showing good sportsmanship"
- "I want my students to love playing together - knowing that their enjoyment of playing sports together will lead to stronger relationships with each other in other areas of their school lives"
- "Most of the kids in my school do not have the money to play sports outside of school. The lessons that can be learned from playing team sports are immeasurable and these games keep them physically active, as well."
- "Our school is a true microcosm of the world. We have 20 different languages spoken representing a variety of nationalities and ethnicity. Their common factor is their love for soccer."
These teachers and coaches believe that sports will make a meaningful difference in the lives of their students and their larger communities by bringing students together and teaching invaluable lessons. At ESPN, we know this to be true and we are proud to help make it happen.