Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network was selected to receive a $1,000 grant from Kenyon Aguino, the Gatorade New Mexico Boys Basketball Player of the Year! From everyone at RGDSN, thank you Kenyon and Gatorade Play It Forward! We greatly appreciate your support of RGDN's mission to create awareness and inclusion and promote independence in individuals with Down syndrome. Your contribution makes a big impact!
The Gatorade Play It Forward initiative works in conjunction with the Gatorade Player of the Year program to empower student-athletes to provide resources to sports organizations in their community. Through the Gatorade Play It Forward program, all 608 Gatorade Player of the Year award winners have the opportunity select a youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant to help the next generation of athletes reap the benefits of sport.
As one of the most prestigious high school sports awards in the nation, the Gatorade Player of the Year program celebrates young athletes on their journey to greatness. The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes athletes not just for their excellence on the playing surface, but for their commitment in the classroom and impact in their community.
For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, building an all-star roster of alumni that have reached the heights of greatness or are well on their way, including Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Elena Delle Donne, Paige Bueckers, Nick Singleton and Gradey Dick. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power sport.
Each year, a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent to choose one state winner from each the 50 states as well as Washington D.C., in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track & field. In all, 608 athletes are honored each year. From the state winners, one national winner is selected in each of the 12 sports.
Gatorade Play It Forward Background
In the last decade, youth participation in sports has been on a double-digit decline, largely due to a lack of resources and limited access to athletic programs. To help reverse this trend, Gatorade launched Gatorade Play It Forward, an initiative that empowers athletes to give back to organizations in their community to help the next generation of athletes benefit from sport.