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Three Ways Nike Is Bringing Play to Kids This Summer — and Helping Adults Make It Happen

In September 2018, physical manifestations of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign appeared across the country, as spaces like JDI HQ in Los Angeles and a converted church-turned-hoops-court in Chicago’s West Side became landmarks that embodied the JDI ethos. That alchemic effect is turning a new chapter with the introduction of Nike’s campaign, Sport Changes Everything, which encourages communities to make play a habit of daily life by facilitating sport days across select U.S. cities from July 11 through 13. The campaign is more than a rallying cry for kids – it’s a call to action for adults too. Here is what's happening.

Rolling Out Play Across the Country

Starting July 11, Go Play Day takes over Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City with sport hubs across parks, fields and more. Kids will have the opportunity to participate in sports at locations such as Flushing Meadow Park in Queens and the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California. Smaller, localized parks in underserved sport populations will also feature opportunities for play, such as Harrison Park in Chicago, as well as actions to better support play in those communities. For example, after Go Play Day, Nike is committing to refurbish NYC play spaces, such as basketball courts and soccer pitches, across the city.

Increasing Coaching Opportunities

Nike helped address the gap in trained volunteer youth coaches in the U.S. with its inaugural legacy summit in April through Women Coach LA, which partnered with the city of Los Angeles to train female coaches for young girls (Nike also trains dedicated Nike retail employees to coach kids through the Nike Community Ambassador Program).

That widened pathway to coaching across the U.S. continues with opportunities like the Chicago Legacy Summit August 24, in partnership with the Chicago Parks District, as well as the continued national rollout of the How To Coach Kids digital program. The free resource, created by Nike with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee in support of the Aspen Institute's Project Play, is accessible online and through an in-app format to guide volunteer coaches in the United States. Contents of the program include strategies for effective coaching practices, tips on how to keep lessons fun for kids, sample games and relays and more. The best part: The program is available to anyone with a smart device.

Giving Back to Programs Making a Difference

This summer, shopping at Nike doors in the U.S. has an extra benefit. You can give $1 to support three partnering organizations that are committed to providing sport for youth: Marathon Kids, Girls Inc. and PeacePlayers.

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