In celebration of the WNBA playoffs and tipoff for the 2023-24 youth basketball season in schools nationwide, Gatorade is happy to announce a $100,000 donation made to The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Sports Matter Program. The donation will be used to cover registration fees for young athletes in under-resourced communities to have access to and play winter sports this season.

Physical exercise, a sense of belonging, and empowerment are all proven benefits of playing organized youth sports. However, not all students are afforded the same opportunities to participate, as youth sports are often pay-for-play, leaving under-resourced families at a disadvantage. Through the Gatorade Equity in Sports initiative, Gatorade is creating more opportunities for underserved communities to participate in sports by continuing its partnership with 3x WNBA MVP and 2x Gold Medal Olympian Candace Parker of the Las Vegas Aces. In Candace’s honor, Gatorade in partnership with the Sports Matter Program will be sending the girls’ basketball team from Arbor View High School in Las Vegas to the 2023 WNBA Finals.

“Leveling the playing field and creating new paths for participation in sports is crucial,” said Candace Parker. “Helping young athletes from diverse and underserved backgrounds not only participate but thrive in sport is something Gatorade and I both value, which is why I am thrilled that this Gatorade donation to The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation will continue breaking down barriers and empower players nationwide to achieve their goals this season.”

“This donation will mean that we can help young athletes from communities across the country join a team for the first time or support their upcoming season,” said Kristen Garmey, Director of Sports Matter at The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation. “This will be game changing for young students who have not been able to play sports due to high registration fees.”

“At Gatorade, we know the life-long positive impact that sports have on young people, but the playing field is not equal, and not everyone has access to play,” said Jennifer Schmit, Senior Director of Community Marketing & Impact. “We’re grateful for this partnership with The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and the opportunity to help students across the country join a team and ignite their love of the game.”

In 2022, Gatorade launched its Fuel Tomorrow platform to provide education about the power of sports and help remove barriers by providing access to safe and welcoming community programs, sports facilities, equipment, transportation, and training coaches on how to be champions for equity and inclusion.