For several years now, the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) has been providing underprivileged youth across the world with new and gently used sports equipment through its charitable initiative, the Global Gear Drive. Beginning this year, the GGD will be embarking on a national campaign to provide children here in the U.S. with much needed sports equipment and gear as well.
Four communities throughout the country are currently scheduled to begin receiving shipments of equipment from the Global Gear Drive: Pass Road Elementary School and Gaston Point Elementary School in Mississippi, Beyond the Ball youth programs in Illinois and the Recovery School District in Louisiana.
The Global Gear Drive is a program that puts sports equipment in the hands of children living in developing regions around the world that wish to take part in quality sports activities but are unable to due to shortages of equipment and the lack of facilities in their countries. Children throughout Africa, Asia, Mexico and the Caribbean have already benefited from this innovative program, which is now setting its sights on the United States, as well.
Pass Road Elementary School and Gaston Point Elementary school are located in Gulfport, Miss., an area hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“Our kids deserve the same amenities as the more affluent communities in the south,” said Adrian Dodson, physical education instructor for Pass Road Elementary.
A limited budget for sports activities in these communities has limited the opportunities for youth interested in sports. By providing these schools with more equipment, children have a better opportunity to participate and receive individual skill instruction.
Beyond the Ball is a non-profit organization that equips urban youth to be community leaders through athletics, service and cross-cultural relationships. Beyond the Ball currently provides services to more than 1,000 individuals in the North Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods of Chicago.
Equipment sent by the Global Gear Drive will be used in Beyond the Ball’s summer program, Project Play. Project Play is a youth program that uses the power of sports to create a safe outdoor environment for youth, which protects them from gang violence.
“Youth in our neighborhood have limited access to sports equipment,” said Robert Castaneda, volunteer and board member for Beyond the Ball. “The Global Gear Drive will benefit our community and children by providing the necessary equipment for Project Play.”
Children in communities throughout New Orleans, many of which also witnessed devastation from Hurricane Katrina, will be benefiting from the Global Gear Drive’s efforts as well. The Recovery School District, which is composed of 66 public schools, will receive shipments from the Global Gear Drive to help improve the sports experiences of the more than 40,000 students within the district.
The Global Gear Drive is an easy process which individuals, sports leagues, schools, churches and communities can get involved in. Slightly used and new equipment is collected and then shipped around the world, where it gives children the chance to play sports.
The Global Gear Drive is always in need of:
For more information on the Global Gear Drive program and how to receive or donate equipment, please contact IAYS by phone at: 1-800-688-5437 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- soccer balls and cleats
- baseballs, gloves and bats
- uniforms and sports apparel