PLAY DAY – A NATIONAL DAY OF PLAY – FROM COAST TO COAST ON JUNE 24
Over 300 Kids, 22 Play Activations & 7 Pro Sports Teams To Join Exciting Event For Play Equity
LOS ANGELES (June 16, 2023) – Play Day: Los Angeles will be June 24. This annual event celebrating the lifelong benefits of sport, play and movement for kids has been hosted by the LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund the last two years – and this year it has spread across the country as a National Day of Play.
As the LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund continue to remove barriers for the multitude of kids locally – and nationally – who lack access to sports and play, Play Day advances the benefits and joy of kids playing together to support their well-being. Play Day also helps to highlight the need to address inequities in play.
Play Day will shine a bright light on the essential role that healthy activity, play and movement have in supporting positive childhood development and community well-being. The County of Los Angeles and the State of California are officially proclaiming June 24 as “Play Day.”
“With everyone joining in, Play Day will become a pivotal moment supporting the value of sport, play and movement for kids – just like Earth Day supports environmentalism,” said Renata Simril, President & CEO of the LA84 Foundation. “We are grateful to those who have had play day events in the past. Play Day 2023 will be an exciting day that helps everyone recognize that all kids have a fundamental right to play.”
Play Day will feature fun activities, giveaways and individual play stations for youth, with over 20 partners in the play equity movement having experiential activations for more than 300 children from local grassroots youth organizations.
Pro sports teams with play activations for kids include the Anaheim Ducks, Angel City Football Club, the Los Angeles Chargers, the LA Clippers, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Los Angeles Rams – as well as the Rams’ cheerleaders.
Former Rams linebacker Chris Draft, who grew up in Orange County, attended Valencia High School and graduated from Stanford before playing 12 years in the NFL, will be the host of Play Day and introduce activities and special guests.
There will also be interactive stations from 61 Golf, Angel City Sports, CA Ultimate Frisbee, a flash mob by Everybody Dance LA, the Gasol Foundation’s fitness roulette, a Double Dutch jump rope squad, breakdancing, an introduction to tennis by the Sloane Stephens Foundation, and archery from Youth ’N Motion. Yoga and Tai Chi will be provided by Wellnest, a leading provider of emotional health and wellness services to children in Southern California.
Play Day is part of the Take Action LA Initiative of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (CalMHSA), which aims to bring LA communities together around mental health. Play Day will celebrate kids, families, youth-serving organizations, schools, and communities that support the critical role sports and play programs have on the physical, mental and social health of young people. Research indicates the mental and emotional health of students continues to suffer because of challenges in their lives in the wake of the pandemic.
As leaders of the play equity movement, the LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund are committed to addressing the barriers to access that are hindering kids – as well as the mental and emotional health challenges many are experiencing – and reversing these trends through the power of sport and play.
The Play Equity Fund is shipping approximately 150 “Play Day In A Box” kits to organizations stretching from California to Massachusetts for each to hold Play Day events on June 24. Packed with balls, jump ropes, cones and other fun gear, these kits are expected to support a day of sport, play and movement for over 5,000 kids nationally.
There will be a Play Day at Buford Elementary (4919 W. 1019th St., Lennox, CA 90304) full of fun activities and open to the public from 10am-1pm with partners from the Park On The Move program.
The spirit of Play Day will be celebrated widely on social media. By using the hashtags #PlayDay2023 and #PlayEquityNow – and tagging the @LA84Foundation or @PlayEquityFund – families, communities and organizations are encouraged to share images or video of themselves participating in a variety of healthy activities or sports with kids on Saturday, June 24.
Play Day is made possible through a generous grant from the CalMHSA Take Action LA Community Grants Program, as well as the support of partners committed to play equity for young people, including Clear Channel, the Dodgers Foundation, the Los Angeles Chargers, Nike, Superior Grocers, UNDEFEATED, The UNDEFEATED Foundation, and Verizon. Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling will provide refreshments.
About the LA84 Foundation
The LA84 Foundation is a national leader in support of youth sport and public education about the role of sports in positive youth development. For almost four decades, the LA84 Foundation has supported thousands of youth-serving organizations in Southern California through grant making, funding facilities and fields of play, training coaches and commissioning research. The LA84 Foundation takes on critical issues as a national thought leader by elevating youth sports and play as an integral to lifelong well-being. Visit www.la84.org and @LA84Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.
About the Play Equity Fund
The Play Equity Fund was established by the LA84 Foundation in 2014 as a 501(c)3 public charity, and removes barriers to ensure all children have access to the transformative power of sport and play. The Play Equity Fund supports the sports-based youth development ecosystem for greater impact, raises awareness of inequities and develops partnerships to advocate for sustainable solutions to ensure all children have access to pathways for lifelong well-being. The Play Equity Fund is the only organization focused on play equity as a social justice issue. Visit www.playequityfund.org and @playequityfund on Twitter and Instagram.