Entering his sophomore season on the University of Michigan Football Team, Found & Executive Director, Adam Shibley decided that he wanted to do more with his life. After being inspired by teammates Carlo Kemp and Chase Winovich’s philanthropic efforts, Shibley began contemplating how to make a change in the world. Thinking back to attending Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio, he recalled an occasion where youth football players approached his car about fundraising for their upcoming season. He vividly remembers feeling moved when donating a $20 bill.
For Shibley, growing up in the suburbs, he was not concerned about pay-to-play fees or even viewed money as a deterrent to him playing youth sports. Yet these systemic boundaries to entry in the youth athletic world is what drives him and the TUFF Team today. Financial limitations should never prevent a child from experiencing youth sports and the corresponding countless life lessons.
As pay-to-play fees rise, many young children struggle financially to participate in athletics; more so, highly impoverished areas are increasingly unable to sustain youth teams– unfairly, hindering them from the vast array of benefits gained from sports. Additionally, that hindrance extends to a lack of mentorship in sports and academics for many of those children. According to the University of Michigan’s National Poll on Children’s Health, 61% of youth athletes in the middle and high school age range were charged a pay-to-play fee averaging $381 per season. In 2018, the percentage of children ages 6 to 12 from households with incomes under $25,000 who did not engage in any sport activity throughout the school year was over 30%, whereas only 15% of youth from households with incomes ranging $75,000-$99,000 did not participate. Recognizing the detrimental impact that participation costs have on creating equal opportunities for student-athletes, TUFF helps to alleviate the financial burden placed on individuals from low-income communities. Through our uniform/equipment donations, we support youth teams with new and safe uniforms, equipment, and gear while mandating that each program lower their pay-to-play fee.
We Provide Uniforms, Equipment and Mentorship to underserved youth athlets.
Established In 2018