LA84 FOUNDATION & PLAY EQUITY FUND PARTNER WITH LOS ANGELES RAMS HEAD COACH SEAN McVAY FOR NEW PLAYGROUND IN RAMONA GARDENS
Over 350 Children To Attend Playground Unveiling – With Rams Players, Cheerleaders, Rampage, NFL Play 60 Camp & Sports Equipment Giveaways Joining Ribbon-Cutting Celebration
LOS ANGELES (Oct. 7, 2022) – Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay, the LA84 Foundation, the Play Equity Fund and the Steinmetz Foundation provided funding for the construction of new playground equipment at the Ramona Gardens Housing Development in Boyle Heights. The playground has been completely refurbished and will be unveiled during a celebratory ribbon-cutting at 4pm on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
With nearly 500 residences at Ramona Gardens – home to approximately 1,700 people and 700 children – this collaborative effort will provide enhanced opportunities for area youth to engage in play and healthy movement.
Over 350 children are expected to attend the playground’s unveiling. They will be joined by members of the Rams 2022 rookie class, Rams Cheerleaders and team mascot Rampage. There will also be interactive official team activities for the kids, sports equipment giveaways and food. Local elected and community leaders will also be in attendance.
The playground will also serve the needs of the students who attend Santa Teresita School, an elementary school across the street. The renovations and all-abilities playground equipment for kids aged 2-12 were designed in partnership with Legacy LA, a community organization that serves the surrounding neighborhoods.
The installation of the colorful new playground equipment was recently completed after a month-long build that included benches, decorative landscaping, as well as an elevated artificial turf surface that is the size of a basketball court. The construction was managed by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA). The structure meets current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.
“This new playground equipment transforms Ramona Gardens’ recreation area into a vibrant community space, and it provides kids with a safe place to play for the healthy movement that’s crucial to every childhood,” said Renata Simril, President & CEO of the LA84 Foundation, and President of the Play Equity Fund. “The generosity of Sean McVay and the Steinmetz Foundation, as well as the work of Legacy LA and HACLA, helped us make this playground a reality. It is a tribute to the power of collaboration, and will help kids and families make memories that last a lifetime.”
The playground’s ribbon-cutting will feature three Rams’ players – TE Roger Carter Jr., LB Jacob Hummel and LB Benton Whitley. The team will host a free, NFL Play 60-style camp for youth that includes a 40-yard dash, football free-play, tackling dummies, ladder drills, long jump, kick pass and obstacle course inflatables.
“I’m proud to continue working with the LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund to help create a recreational space that brings people together through play and exercise,” said Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams Head Coach. “With increased access to community-centered areas such as this playground, our youth in Ramona Gardens and other surrounding areas will be able to make memories and build lasting relationships in a safe and welcoming environment.”
The Rams will also set up a snack station with refreshments and a dance station led by the Rams Cheerleaders. The Rams will gift attendees with Nike youth footballs, while supplies last. The Play Equity Fund and the LA84 Foundation will give out additional sports equipment – including footballs, soccer balls, racquet sets, jump ropes and skateboards.
4:00pm PST, Oct. 11, 2022
Ramona Gardens Playground
Henry Alvarez Park, 2830 Lancaster Ave, Los Angeles CA 90033
McVay has a longstanding commitment to the well-being of local young people. Months into the pandemic in 2020 with schools and parks closed, the Rams Head Coach purchased sports equipment and supplies that were distributed to students at family centers across Los Angeles by the Play Equity Fund.
In 2021, the LA84 Foundation and Legacy LA celebrated the grand opening of a refurbished basketball court in Ramona Gardens that is located only steps away from the new playground. That grant included resurfacing the court, new backboards and rims.
These projects to increase access to play, recreational activity and sports participation for youth in local communities are informed by research commissioned by the LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund. The LA84 Foundation has released the results of the 2022 Los Angeles County Youth Sports Participation Survey for the Play Equity Fund. It is the latest biennial report assessing youth sports, childhood health and community well-being that was launched in 2016.
The survey’s most recent findings reaffirm the ongoing work of the LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund, which have a shared mission to create play equity and provide young people with the benefits of access to team and individual sports, healthy movement, physical activities and unstructured play – including time spent on a playground.
The Steinmetz Foundation is a private foundation based in Torrance that supports children, youth services and education.