This story is by Olivia Wilson, and is an excerpt from a piece that was published on ESPN.com on May 20, 2020. You can view the original HERE
The sixth annual Sports Humanitarian Awards, sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, is a celebration of the impact made by athletes, teams and sports industry professionals who are using sports to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world. This year, the Sports Humanitarian Awards will combine with The 2020 ESPYS Presented by Capitol One for an inspirational evening that showcases the true power of sports. The show will air on June 21 on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.
The Sports Humanitarian Awards will feature its honorees as part of The 2020 ESPYS including the recipients of the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award presented by Dove Men+Care, the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award presented by Anthem Foundation, the League Humanitarian Leadership Award and the Sports Humanitarian Team Award. The Sports Humanitarian Awards will present five additional honors in ESPN studio shows the week leading up to The ESPYS.
“ESPN recognizes that this year more than ever, athletes, teams and leagues have been leading the way in responding to the needs of communities across the country and the world,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “For six years, ESPN has been honored to telecast the Sports Humanitarian Awards, which highlights the impact that sports has to create social change, and we’re excited to carry that narrative through The ESPYS and our other platforms.”
CORPORATE COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD
The Corporate Community Impact Award recognizes a corporation that utilizes their business platform and the power of sports to help advance a social issue, cause or community organization. The winner will be able to direct a $100,000 grant from ESPN to the qualified charity related to the award-winning humanitarian efforts. The finalists will be able to direct a $25,000 grant to the charity related to their award-winning efforts.
All nominees will be recognized during ESPN studio shows and the winner will be announced the week of June 15.
With one in three children overweight or obese in the United States, the Anthem Foundation created the Anthem Health Champion program in an effort to create greater public awareness and funding for the pressing health challenges faced by their customers and communities. The program, which focuses on enabling healthy and active lifestyles, pediatric cancer, empowerment of girls in sports, swim safety and improving self-esteem and fitness, is working with sports’ most admired healthy role models to spread messaging on the importance of staying active. Since its inception, they have helped 16 million kids combat childhood obesity through the holistic Triple Play program, put fitness centers in 66 elementary schools which ultimately has brought physical fitness to more than 35,000 children, provided 3,500 at-risk youth with water safety lessons and paired 100+ elite and collegiate athletes with girls of color between to inspire involvement in sports and in-person mentoring.
In the United States there is a vulnerable segment of youth who do not have access to outdoor opportunities, and consequently limits their ability to access experiences beyond their own challenging environments and step away from their daily norms. The Chill Foundation was founded by the owners of Burton Snowboards, Donna Carpenter, and the late Jake Burton Carpenter. Chill was created to provide access to boardsports for youth who would not otherwise have the opportunity, providing them year-round programming to snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, and stand up paddleboarding lessons at no cost. The youth-development program also addresses the inequalities around access to boardsports, as well as the potential for personal growth and development, while focusing on the resiliency of the participants to help them transfer many of their new skills and ideas to different circumstances they may face. Through Chill, boardsports have become a vehicle for self-empowerment and overcoming obstacles for more than 25,000 young people since the program started, impacting 3,000 youth in 16 cities across North America this year.
Nike believes all kids are made to play. The reality, though, is that only one in five kids around the world gets the physical activity they need to become healthier, happier and more successful in and school and in life. The Nike Community Ambassador program tackles this issue by giving Nike store employees around the world the opportunity to share their love of sport with the next generation. Last year more than 5,400 store employees in 24 countries served as Nike Community Ambassadors, volunteering as coaches in their local communities to help get kids playing so they can reach their full potential.
Peach Bowl, Inc.
Only 4% of National Institutes of Health federal funding for cancer research each year benefits childhood cancer according to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, making it nearly impossible to launch clinical trials that will create new cancer drugs and treatment options for kids. To address this need, Peach Bowl, Inc. announced a $20 million gift to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to create the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund, named in honor of Anna Charles “AC” Hollis, daughter of a Peach Bowl, Inc. employee who died after a courageous five-month fight with the disease. The fund is dedicated to ensuring novel, high-priority cancer drugs, devices and treatment strategies can be tested in patients at an accelerated pace. In 2019, the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund announced the first five new clinical trials led by oncologists at the Aflac Cancer Center. Additionally, the annual Peach Bowl Touchdowns for Children’s has inspired college football fans to help tackle cancer by pledging donations for every touchdown scored by their favorite team during the season. Peach Bowl, Inc. matches every dollar raised by fans throughout the entire college football season, which culminated in a record $518,922 additional gift following the 2019 season.
Read the full press release here.