Olympians Kerri Walsh Jennings and Allyson Felix will each deliver keynotes at the sixth annual LA84 Foundation Summit on October 27 at the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE. The theme this year is The New Era of Youth Sports: Play for All with a focus on equity, inclusion and innovative ways to ensure that all youth have equal access to sport as a way to promote positive development and life-long wellbeing. In light of the theme, Jennings’ keynote is entitled “Inspiring and Delivering the Next Generation of Youth Sports” and Felix’s is entitled “Right to Play: From LA to International Communities.”
“I’m thrilled to be part of this year’s LA84 Foundation Summit and am eager to support the important work that they do to create opportunities for all kids to participate in sports,” said Kerri Walsh Jennings. “I know what a key role access to sports and the support system around me played when I was a kid, and without that, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
“LA84 is making meaningful strides in building momentum for youth sports in Southern California and I’m proud to support their work and be part of this year’s Summit,” said Allyson Felix, “I’m so grateful for these opportunities I was given early on in life and I’m eager to pay it forward.”
The Summit will bring together more than 350 civic leaders, sports executives, non-profit leaders, national sports experts, and Olympic and Paralympic athletes to share insights on the latest trends in youth sports, to share best practices on how to harness the power of technology, collaboration and innovation to increase access and drive social change through sport and structured play and to inspire with personal stories of impact on how sports has transformed lives on and off the field of play. Additional featured speakers include two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion Julie Foudy, 2012 Paralympic gold medalist Mallory Weggemann, and more! A full list of speakers can be found here.
“There is a crisis in youth sports,” said Renata Simril, President and CEO of the LA84 Foundation. “The equity gap is heading in the wrong direction, and it is collectively on all of us to refocus our impact toward providing Play For All access to sport, and making sure the dreams of our youth are not limited by their zip codes.”
Kerri Walsh Jennings is the most decorated beach volleyball Olympian of all-time, with three gold medals and one bronze medal. The California native grew up in Saratoga and played high school volleyball at Archbishop Mitty in San Jose. She then went on to Stanford University, where she won a National Championship, National Player of the Year award, First-Team All American honors, and earned a degree in American Studies. Her first Olympic appearance came in 2000 when she helped the U.S. Team to a strong 4th place finish. She would go on to win gold in Athens in 2004, gold in Beijing in 2008, gold in London in 2012, and bronze in Rio in 2016. She remains the winningest female beach volleyball player in history with 133 wins. Currently, Walsh Jennings resides in Manhattan Beach with her husband and three children.
Allyson Felix is the most decorated female track and field Olympian in history, with 6 gold medals and 3 silver medals. Felix grew up in Los Angeles and first tried out for the track team in her ninth-grade year at Los Angeles Baptist High School North Hills. Just 10 weeks after tryouts, Allyson was racing at the California State Finals. She went on to accomplish impressive feats over her high school career, including setting a new world record in the under-20 category when she competed in the Banamex Grand Prix in Mexico City’s Olympic Stadium and ran a blazing 22.11 second 200-meter race. Felix emerged as the new American female sprinter to watch and has never looked back winning silver in Athens in 2004, gold and silver in Beijing in 2008, three gold medals in the 2012 London Olympic Games and following it up in Rio in 2016 with two more gold medals and another silver medal.
For over 30 years, the LA84 Foundation has experienced first-hand the power of sport to change lives. The foundation’s funding, focus and advocacy has positively impacted more than 3 million under-served and under-resourced youth, supported over 2,200 organizations and trained 80,000 coaches. With a third Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles coming in 2028, the LA84 Foundation is ready to take their work to even greater heights as they begin to build a new legacy for the next generation.
Tickets for the summit can be purchased here: la84.org/summit/.