Play It Forward Award Athlete of the Month:
Evina Westbrook is a Junior basketball player at South Salem High School. Beyond winning back-to-back State Championships and being selected as Gatorade Player of the Year, Evina finds ways to give back to the game she loves by helping coach girls at Salem Hoop and the Portland-based Inner City Players Lil’ Ladies club team. Regularly commuting up-state on the weekends for IPC practice, she also organizes opportunities for her team to engage with other local role models like the OSU Women’s Basketball team. On average, she spends 16-20 hours a month in the gym helping young girls develop their skills and passion for the game. A prime example for what a sports competitor should be, Evina encourages good habits: taking care of yourself physically and mentally, setting goals and developing a great work ethic to be successful.
About The Play It Forward Award
Fewer kids today have the opportunity to benefit from positive youth sport experiences and physical activity. One barrier to getting kids moving more is a lack of engaging and inspiring role models. Nike and Providence Health & Services hope to overcome this challenge by celebrating individuals and nonprofits that are already doing this important work through the Play It Forward Award and Fund.
Between September 2015 to May 2016, the Play It Forward Award will recognize one high school and one college athlete each month for the great work they are doing to give back to their communities across Oregon. A community member, teacher or parent nominates students, or students can self-select to be considered for the monthly honor.
To be nominated for the Play It Forward Award, the student athlete must:
• Be a high school or college student who is a member of an athletic team at their school
• Average a minimum of four community volunteer hours per month with an organization or program that gets kids active through sports or physical activity
• Demonstrate initiative and drive by going beyond expected school responsibilities
The monthly award nominee (two per month—one high school athlete, and one college athlete) will be announced at the beginning of each month. This student-athlete will receive a certificate recognizing their accomplishment. At the annual Oregon Sports Awards in June 2016, the first official Play It Forward Award will be given to one student selected from the 18 athletes recognized throughout the 2015-2016 school year who will then be recognized at the annual Oregon Sports Awards event at the Nike World Headquarters.
About The Play It Forward Fund
Positive experiences in sport and physical activity are critical to developing healthy kids and building healthy communities. That’s why as part of the Play It Forward Award, presenting sponsors Nike and Providence Health & Services have also donated a combined $50,000 ($30K from Nike and $20K from Providence) to kick start the new Play It Forward Award Fund managed by the Oregon Sports Authority Foundation.
The Play It Forward Award Fund supports non-profit organizations that are providing access to physical activity and sport opportunities for youth throughout Oregon. This funding will support organizations focusing on elementary and middle school youth.
The goal of this fund is to increase access to sport across the state of Oregon, targeting those with the least opportunity. This fund will give ten $5,000 grants, one per month, to deserving organizations throughout the 2015-2016 school year. Over the course of the year we will aim for geographic, ethnic and economic diversity for funded organizations.
The first grant cycle opened on Aug. 24, 2015 with grant applications being accepted on a rolling basis until May 30, 2016. Projects can only apply once during this time period.
The Grant Selection Committee is comprised of Nike and Providence Health & Services
employees, a representative from the Oregon Sports Awards and a representative from the Oregon Sports Authority Foundation. Grant guidelines for the Youth Sports Fund can be found at are located at oregonsportsawards.com/playitforwardaward