Good Sports strives to ensure that all kids have the ability to lead healthy lifestyles regardless of income level. Through strategic partnerships in the sports equipment industry, Good Sports is able to provide children with sports equipment that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Good Sports began in 2003 with a donation of 500 basketballs and has grown to distribute more than $10 million worth of equipment nationwide. While the scope of Good Sports impact has widened significantly since its early years as a Boston-focused organization, there is still a tremendous amount of unmet need across the country.
Good Sports goals include: 1) Ensuring that all young people have access to programs that help develop strong bodies, minds, and character; 2) Expanding and strengthening the quality of sports and fitness programs that engage a significant number of low income youth; and 3) Helping youth organizations that lack staff, time, and/or knowledge get the necessary equipment to increase their capacity.
Because of Good Sports’ unique partnerships within the sporting goods industry, we are able to offer organizations a level of support and amount of equipment they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. While many sporting goods companies are charitable, their resources are often allocated to just a few organizations with which they have relationships. As a result, youth sports and fitness organizations that do not have such relationships struggle to provide the youth they serve with the quality and quantity of equipment they need.
Our partnerships within the sporting goods sector give rise to a model that is built upon high levels of efficiency. For every $1 that is donated, Good Sports provides up to $2 of equipment to the community. Donations from Good Sports not only equip children in need, but they increase the capacity of the organizations being served. Our equipment program is directed to organizations in need seeking to:
• Launch a new sports and fitness program
• Expand an existing sports and fitness program
• Decrease the costs associated with their program and lessen the burden on families
• Improve the quality of their program to ensure retention of participants
All of these objectives serve to fulfill the primary goal of Good Sports: facilitating an increase in participation in youth sports and fitness activities. By off-setting equipment expenses, Good Sports enables organizations to reallocate their funding to other priorities such as facilities costs, coaching, transportation, and subsidies for disadvantaged youth. Ensuring these organizations are well resourced increases their ability to serve more young people, specifically kids who cannot afford to participate.