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Two community organizations in Los Angeles will receive grants totaling $85,000 to help transform vacant lots into sports, recreation and play spaces.
The awards, announced today, are part of ESPN’s RePlay initiative, a collaboration with Under Armour and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the nation’s leading community development finance institutions.
RePlay seeks to help local organizations and residents plan and implement revitalization projects that transform vacant spaces into safe, quality places for youth and community.
According to the Brookings Institution, in 60 U.S. cities with populations over 100,000, there are an average of two vacant buildings for every 1,000 residents. “At ESPN, we’re committed to providing access to sports for all people, especially in underserved communities where places to play sports aren’t always available,” said Kevin Martinez, ESPN vice president of Corporate Citizenship. “RePlay aims to turn these vacant lots into play spaces that act as vibrant hubs at the heart of their communities. Together with Under Armour, LISC and local residents, we’re excited to transform these vacant properties into valuable community assets.”
LISC, which has nearly 40 years of experience working with community organizations, identified the projects through a formal application process and will provide technical assistance to local residents and community groups; assisting them in the predevelopment and construction phases. ESPN and Under Armour are providing funding for the grants.
A $75,000 implementation grant will go to:
A $10,000 planning grant will go to:
LISC Los Angeles’s Executive Director Tunua Thrash-Ntuk remarked that the RePlay Program is aligned with LISC’s longstanding efforts to transform vacant spaces into safe, recreational, sports and play infrastructure in communities throughout the country. “Good recreation spaces are key indicators of livable communities,” she said. “We are pleased to partner with ESPN and Under Armour to make communities better by recognizing the importance of recreation in building healthy communities.”
Partnering with ESPN and LISC for the RePlay Initiative is true to the spirit of Under Armour and its approach to reinvigorating the model of how companies and communities work together to create positive and lasting change. “At Under Armour, we believe innovation should be encouraged everywhere- including in our communities,” said Stacey Ullrich, Under Armour’s Senior Director of Global Philanthropy. “We’re thrilled to join forces with ESPN and LISC to award these grants to organizations that ignite innovation and bring the joy of sport and recreation to our communities. Because, we all know that sport can inspire, unite and even change the world.”
About ESPN Corporate Citizenship
ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplift the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use power of sport to positively address society’s needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations, and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to www.espn.com/citizenship.
LISC equips struggling communities with the capital, program strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. It combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources. Since 1980, LISC has invested $18.6 billion to build or rehab 376,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 63 million square feet of retail, community and educational space—including athletic facilities and other recreational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.
About Under Armour
Under Armour, Inc., headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland is a leading inventor, marketer and distributor of branded performance athletic apparel, footwear and accessories. Designed to make all athletes better, the brand’s innovative products are sold worldwide to consumers with active lifestyles. The company’s Connected Fitness platform powers the world’s largest digitally connected health and fitness community. For further information, please visit www.uabiz.com.