COLORADO SPRINGS (October 4, 2020) – The United States Association of Blind Athletes has been selected as one of five 2020 winners of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Sports Award from a pool of 270 applicants. The winners receive a $25,000 cash award and were honored at a virtual ceremony on October 4 aired live on the RWJF Facebook page.
The award recognizes and honors those in sport who display an innovative and collaborative approach to making their communities a healthier place to live. This includes sports teams, athletes, and community-based organizations that use sports as a platform to address many of the root causes that influence health and health equity.
USABA was chosen as one of this year’s recipients for its use of adaptive sports to empower and support individuals who are blind and visually impaired. USABA has expanded its reach to people who are blind each year with multiple sports and recreational activity offerings. Programs support participation from individuals of all ages and abilities with a focus on each participant developing a healthy lifestyle.
“Winning the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award is an affirmation that the United States Association of Blind Athletes is building a culture of health and wellness for blind and visually impaired Americans,” said CEO Molly Quinn. “The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has made a clear connection between health and sports, and receiving this award from a foundation dedicated to health-related outcomes solidifies our intent of influencing people to realize the critical role physical activity plays in one’s health.”
Past winners include the Chattanooga Football Club, Chicago Fire Foundation, Doc Wayne, Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, Figure Skating in Harlem, InnerCity Weightlifting, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, MLSE Foundation, PeacePlayers International, San Francisco Giants Community Fund, Soccer Without Borders, The Moyer Foundation, The Sanneh Foundation, Tony Hawk Foundation and the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.
“I’m inspired by this year’s winners who show us the power of sports to connect us and make us healthier, no matter our race, gender, abilities or economic background,” said Julie Morita, RWJF Executive Vice President. “Playing sports unites people, and that’s a wonderful vision for a healthier, more just, more equitable world for everyone.”
Other 2020 winners were AGE UP, Border Youth Tennis Exchange, Running Medicine, and Soccer in the Streets.
All Girl Everything Ultimate Program (AGE UP) is engaging South Seattle youth of color through their love of ultimate frisbee and their commitment to equity and social justice.
Border Youth Tennis Exchange (BYTE) is a binational youth development organization that provides athletic and tech-based academic instruction to children on both sides of the US/Mexico border. In this way, BYTE services support resilient cross-border communities and promote a positive appreciation for the border region.
Running Medicine offers family-oriented walking and running programs for Native-Americans in Albuquerque creating a culture of health that is available to all people regardless of ability, age, fitness level or ability to pay.
Soccer in the Streets has reframed health equity around transit hubs in the inner city by repurposing unused land in the heart of Atlanta to be more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
ABOUT THE ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION SPORTS AWARD
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award honors the innovative and collaborative efforts of individuals, organizations and teams that are making their communities healthier through sport. For more information on the award, visit www.rwjf.org/sportsaward.
ABOUT THE ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION
For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at w ww.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.