LOS ANGELES (Dec. 14, 2020) – Renata Simril, the LA84 President and CEO was featured on an episode of LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez, where she explained the importance of sports for childhood growth and development.
Renata Simril, the LA84 President and CEO was featured on an episode of LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez, where she explained the importance of sports for childhood growth and development. A Carson native, Simril has had a passion for sports since childhood.
Simril credits sports and outdoor activity with keeping her on the right track. She never saw her gender as an obstacle, and she served as a military police officer in the U.S. Army.
“That stuff in G.I. Jane movies is all true, it’s all true,” she said. “When he said, ‘Girls can’t do that,’ it was all over. It was certainly a life-changing, formative experience for me.”
Today, as president and CEO of the LA84 Foundation, Simril uses her personal experiences to inspire children through sports and play. Created with the surplus leftover from the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the LA84 Foundation supports youth sport programs in underserved communities by funding sports organizations, public education, coach training, and more.
Through the foundation, Simril aims to bring access to sports and play for all children — regardless of their race, gender, zip code, or socioeconomic status. On this
“Sports is a must-have to really engage kids, and surround them with the conditions for which they need to be able to succeed and overcome their circumstances in many cases,” said Simril.
For Simril, her fight for play equity is a fight against systemic racism. By creating equal opportunities for children in sports, she explained, you’re laying the groundwork for a more promising future outside of sports.
“It breaks down racial barriers more than governments can do,” she said. “Teamwork, excellence, respect, joy — it’s those elements of what sports should be. When we take that approach off the field, into our daily work, I just imagine how wonderful this world can be, how wonderful this democracy could be.”
About the LA84 Foundation
The LA84 Foundation is a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs and public education about the role of sports in positive youth development. The foundation has supported thousands of Southern California youth sports organizations through grant making and funding facilities and fields of play, while also training coaches, commissioning research, convening conferences and acting as a national thought leader on important issues in the youth sports industry. LA84 levels the playing field to ensure all youth have access and opportunity despite economics, gender or ability, while elevating the field of youth sports as an integral pathway to lifelong well-being. To learn more, visit www.la84.org and @LA84Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.
About the Play Equity Fund
A 501(c)3 public charity, the Play Equity Fund was established by the LA84 Foundation in 2014 and is focused on bringing the transformational power of sport and play to all children, regardless of their race, gender, zip code or socioeconomic status. The Play Equity Fund achieves this by raising awareness of inequities, supporting the sports-based youth development ecosystem for greater impact, and developing partnerships to advocate for funding and sustainable solutions to ensure kids have access and opportunities to pathways for lifelong well-being. To learn more, visit PlayEquityFund.org, or @PlayEquityFund on Twitter and Instagram.