The Science Behind our Mission

Marketing Intern, Empower 2 Play

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela

Youth participation in athletics often works to replace less productive pursuits for children with free time. For many young people and their families, however, athletics can serve as much more than a mere distraction after school or during summer vacation. Empower 2 Play, whose mission revolves around utilizing sports as a tool for impact, upholds a philosophy grounded in a foundation of proven knowledge regarding the connection between sports and development. Studies indicate that sports enable the growth of healthy habits and relationships. The resources made accessible through athletic camps lead not only to lifestyle changes in children, but also to engagement within entire communities. These fascinating truths about sports is what drives Empower 2 Play to use athletics as a framework for encouraging and educating children who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and to provide these students with resources and tools for success .

A recent study by Pennsylvania State University and The University of South Carolina (USC) examined high school students’ involvement in sports and found that athletic participation created environments that made students more likely to thrive academically. “Team sports are significantly related to a higher likelihood of completing high school and enrolling in college” says Dr. Matthew Irving, a professor of Educational Psychology and Research at USC. Further studies suggest that team sports not only equips participants with the means for scholastic success, but they also create a social atmosphere that is unparalleled. Eileen Marchant of the UK’s Association for Physical Education says that team sports “…raise self-esteem and self-belief, and there’s an absolute correlation between believing in yourself and what happens in other areas….” of a child’s life. This increased self-esteem develops as a direct outcome from the relationships and life skills that youth gain while participating in sports. Sports allow mentorship relationships to form between youth and caring adults, as well as positive connections between peers. Although the children are the ones playing, athleticism also often provides a way for entire neighborhoods to connect and grow together.

“The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead” — Bill George

Athletics create structures for supporting the dreams and practicalities of childhood. Psychological health is noticeably altered through sports engagement, with an increase in motivation and a decrease in anxiety and depression. Certainly, the Empower 2 Play participants who partake in our athletic camps share a unique kind of empowerment that is wonderfully contagious. The children that our organization reaches have as big of dreams as any young individual, such as becoming a teacher, a doctor, an engineer or a business owner. Empower 2 Play provides outlets for sparking the transition of these dreams into realities by cultivating discipline, time management, teamwork, and grit through athletics. These are advantages that all children benefit from and should have access to, no matter their sex, age, home life, or ethnicity.

This is why we believe in funding sports camps that bypass the common issues of cost and accessibility, thus providing the opportunity for all children to receive the benefits of athletic participation. The science behind our mission is indubitably present. Athleticism improves children’s social lives, their academic careers, and their personal development. By visiting under-served communities and initiating sports diplomacy, we strive to enable access to the crucial advantages present in athletics, ultimately creating a positive impact for the people and places we reach.