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While there are various reasons that sports have become increasingly unpopular within the youth,participation fees are cited time and again as the leading reason. According to a national poll from the University of Michigan, 61% of children playing middle or high school sports were charged a pay-to-play fee.

For one child and one season, this participation fee was $381, including equipment, uniforms, andadditional team fees. This large sum of money disproportionately affects those in the lower-income brackets (many of which are minorities). The percentage of kids ages 6 to 12 engaged in no sport activity during the year 2018 for household incomes under $25,000 was 33.4% – more than double the rate of households with income of $75,000-$99,000, which shows how participation fees clearly deter lower-income parents from allowing their children to participatein sports.
TUFF works to increase participation in sports by donating uniforms, gear, and equipment tocommunities and teams in need. Not only does this reduce participation fees and allow parents to let their children play, it encourages other youth athletes to begin playing as a result of safer and newer equipment.
We believe the simple act of providing new uniforms, gear, and equipment is impactful in itself. New uniforms, gear, and equipment not only elicit excitement and joy, but provide the confidence and inspiration young athletes needed to fueltheir work ethic. Working harder in the respective sport increases chances of success and reduces chances of quitting, and additionally has a ripple effect that encourages student-athletes to be better in other areassuch as school.

In addition to providing uniforms, gear, and equipment, TUFF aspires to help young athletes whocome from low-income areas or households by offering mentorship, inspiration, and motivation. At everyuniform donation we have a “TUFF talk,” where a very successful athlete or professional speaks to the youth athletes, and conveys how they were able to overcome adversity in their lives and ultimatelybecome successful.

TUFF is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so your donations are tax-deductible. All donations come with a tax-deductible receipt.

You can apply to be our next TUFF-sponsored team by filling out the application here.


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