Chicago’s Comeback Letter of Support
Sport for Good Chicago, an initiative of Laureus USA, is a network of local organizations that exist to ensure sports are accessible to youth, regardless of where they live and their background. We are calling on Chicago companies, foundations, government agencies, and philanthropists to prioritize funding to sustain sports programs for the children of Chicago, and throughout Illinois, who continue to struggle with massive disruptions from the pandemic.
COVID-19 has shaken our city to its core, and young people have been hit harder than anyone. Chicago’s youth need the opportunity to participate in sport programs that focus on whole person development, now more than ever. For young people, sport is more than competing and having fun, it’s also a crucial part of how young people build the skills they need to thrive in an unpredictable world. Specifically, research shows that:
- Sport Helps Young People Heal and Recover – Young people have experienced collective trauma due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sport is an ideal environment for young people to heal, practice stress responses in a safe environment, and build resilience.
- Sport Helps Young People Develop Social-Emotional Skills – Social distancing measures and remote schooling forced young people to be isolated from their peers and key systems of support, including sports teams. Social isolation for young people is an early indicator of depression, anxiety, and long-term health issues. Sport programming is uniquely suited to build social-emotional skills through interactions with peers and coaches.
- Sport Helps Young People be Active – Young people are returning from one of the most inactive periods of time in a generation. Many sports programs offer free or low-cost programming for young people to return to healthy levels of physical activity.
As we begin to fight back, we must invest in creative solutions to help our young people recover and come back stronger having built resilience through the adversity they faced. Sport has the power to be that solution for them — but only if they can play.
Chicago has an opportunity to build a vision for something better. With your support, we can ensure that access to sport is equitable regardless of zip code, race, gender identity, and family income level. We can ensure that youth sport is built for the good of young people – not just the adults in the stands and on the sideline. We can ensure that every coach is trained in youth development, healing, and relationship building.
By signing this letter, you’re letting funders, government agencies, and decision makers know this issue matters. That it needs their attention — because it takes all of us, together. Let Chicago’s youth and the organizations that support them know that they aren’t in this fight alone. Together, we can mount the greatest comeback this city has ever seen.
Laureus USA & Sport for Good Chicago
Chicago Cubs & Cubs Charities