Gatorade has been fueling athletes for more than 50 years and has seen the positive impact sports can have on youth; including improvements in school, health, emotional well-being and future career success.
In the last decade, youth participation in sports has been on a double-digit decline, largely due to a lack of resources and limited access to athletic programs. To help reverse this declining trend, Gatorade has launched Gatorade Play It Forward, an initiative that empowers athletes to give back to other athletes to realize their potential through sport.
Gatorade Play It Forward works in collaboration with Gatorade Player of the Year – an annual program that recognizes and celebrates the nation's most outstanding high school student-athletes. Gatorade Play It Forward will empower each state Player of the Year to choose a local or national youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant from Gatorade.
Athletes will also have the opportunity to enter their organization for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. Gatorade will review the essays and award one spotlight grant of $10,000 for each of the twelve sports recognized through the Player of the Year program.
Player of the Year athletes that do not wish to self-select an organization to receive their grant can choose to support one of four national partners listed below. Each partner has an extensive network and resources to help more youth participate and fuel a better world through sport.
Boys & Girls Clubs host sports, fitness and recreation programs in more than 4,200 Clubs across the U.S.
Up2Us Sports hires coaches to work with youth in low-income communities and inspire their success on and off the field.
Provides over 20,000 youth with disabilities opportunities to play 50 different sports every year.