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How Leveling the Playing Field helps youth sports

Posted at 6:30 PM, Apr 11, 2024

BALTIMORE — It's important, making sure all kids who want to play sports have a fair chance to play.

Sports equipment is not cheap.

That's why Leveling the Playing Field (LPF) exists.

LPF is not only around to help ease the financial burden on parents, but also to give kids an equal opportunity to thrive in youth sports.

"Sports is another tuition. Gas to the events is another tuition. Food for the sport for the kid is another tuition. Leveling the playing field is helping bridge those gaps to where those who don't have, can now have," said Derrick McPhearson, gym teacher at Determined to Make a Change Inc.

McPhearson understands the financial stress attached with youth sports. He believes that should be no barrier for kids.

"One of my after school programs is called confidence through sports. Sports will give you confidence. Sports will let you know if you like something. Sports will let you know if you don't like something. It's going to ultimately let you know who you are. You're going to build certain life characteristics and attributes that's essential to life," says McPhearson.

Part of the confidence comes from having proper equipment which is why he leans on LPF, a food bank for sports equipment both new and used.

"The areas that are under-resourced, they don't have as much resources to play sports. So there's not as many kids playing sports and that's where we kind of come in and we try and fill that void," said Donovan Dennis, program director at Leveling the Playing Field.

The Baltimore location has collected a million dollars worth of sports and playground equipment.

"It's part of my why. Sports has done a lot for me in my personal life and professional life. It's opened a lot of doors for me. It's given me a lot of opportunities I never thought I'd never experience," said Dennis.

Which is why special events like Pack the Park exist, creating new opportunities for future generations.