The Dodgers Foundation is a group that never sleeps. The LADF is bigger than baseball with ambitions to be the city’s premier charity. Thankfully, the group led by CEO Nichol Whiteman is getting the recognition that they deserve.
Last month, the Dodgers were named as ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year thanks in part to the charitable efforts led by the LADF. Now they add another award to the mantle.
On Tuesday, the Dodgers Foundation was named 2020 Project Play Champion by the Aspen Institute.
We are so proud to be named 2020 Aspen Institute Project Play Champions, 1 of 18 organizations making a new, meaningful commitment aligned with #ProjectPlay’s 8 strategies.
— Dodgers Foundation (@DodgersFdn) June 30, 2020
Here’s more on the honor from an official release.
The Aspen Institute’s Project Play Champions program annually recognizes local and national organizations that are taking new, meaningful, and specific actions consistent with the Project Play framework. LADF is recognized for its Field Champions initiative and Dodgers RBI program, a sports-based youth development program for kids, which utilizes baseball and softball participation to provide life-changing social and emotional learning and access to health care and educational opportunities.
An initiative of the Aspen Institute, Project Play aims to help stakeholders build healthy communities through sport. Among its sub-initiatives is Project Play 2020, a multi-year effort by leading organizations to grow national sport participation rates and related metrics among youth. As part of the recognition, LADF will be featured at the Project Play Summit 2020, the nation’s premier annual gathering of leaders at the intersection of youth, sport and health.
Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program’s Executive Director Tom Farrey identified the LADF as community leaders and an exemplar organization in a statement.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, a leader in sports-based youth development, recognizes the importance of ensuring that low income communities not only have access to softball and baseball, but to a supportive environment of coaches and resources. We’re proud to highlight them as a 2020 Project Play Champion and an exemplar organization working to engage kids through community-based play.
LADF CEO Whiteman followed up.
We are honored to be recognized in the 2020 class of Project Play Champions. Alongside Up2Us Sports, we have expanded our Field Champions program, and provide a well-balanced foundation for coaches to gain game knowledge and important strategies that offer powerful support to Dodgers RBI players. Field Champions attend skill-based coaching workshops, that include trauma-informed approaches and positive youth development strategies, to support players and help them grow social-emotional learning attributes. Our coaches play a critical role in helping youth in our communities heal and thrive.
In a press release, the Dodgers and LADF said their efforts are continuing to evolve amid the pandemic, and are far from over.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dodgers RBI and Field Champions have made the necessary pivot to support thousands of participants through?virtual and online components, including coaches training, parent workshops, baseball and softball Dodger Drills, college-prep sessions, and Wellness Wednesdays fitness and nutrition lessons. Field Champions have also been activated to provide direct support at food distribution centers and Dodger Day Drive-Thru events for low-income communities. Through these efforts, LADF will continue to significantly equip coaches to help support participants in underserved communities to access resources and services they need to thrive.
To learn more about the program and the members selected as the 2020 Class of Project Play Champions, please visit https://www.