For many families, participating in youth sports is a given. But, for others, it’s too expensive for kids to get involved.
That’s where Just Breathe 815 Sports comes in. Kevin Ware kicked off his initiative at Rockford’s Flinn Middle School Friday afternoon.
He even brought along former Olympian and NBA player Ashraf Amaya to speak with students.
Ware is collecting gently used and new sports gear such as: cleats, mouth guards, and pads. Those items will be distributed to local students who can’t afford them.
Ware says kids who play often have lower stress levels, better self-esteem, and can even boost their chances of graduating high school. It’s for those reasons that he doesn’t want something like money to stand in their way.
“We want to break down those barriers of that pay-to-play type of thing because we know so many kids don’t have the opportunity to play sports,” said Ware. “That’s affecting them with their educational goals and there’s so many benefits to youth sports. We want to put kids in the game.”
Ware says he came up with idea while talking with his daughter.