Why Sport Changes Everything

At Nike, we believe that sport makes a better you. And it has the power to change the world — beginning with kids.


But it’s alarming to see that kids are moving less and less, with only one in five kids getting the daily requirement of physical activity, and girls dropping out of sport at two times the rate of boys. Yet we know that when kids play and are active, they do better in life.


Sport Changes Everything, we see this through our Nike Community Ambassadors (NCAs) – community heroes who inspire kids to play and stay in the game.

NCAs are retail employees who are trained to serve as volunteer coaches, bringing the fun and fundamentals of sport and play to kids in their communities. They help kids fall in love with sport.


After all, kids can’t do it alone. We know coaches can make or break the experience for kids, and these community heroes remind us we can all play a role.


A few of our NCAs from LA, Chicago and NY share their thoughts in the videos below (heads up: these may give you goosebumps). Then, read on to find out how you can help get kids moving too:

Savannah Ramirez, Nike Community Store, East Los Angeles

Background: Savannah grew up in East L.A. , where she spent a lot of time at East L.A. Rising playing basketball.

What drives her to coach: “I’m trying to be the young lady I needed growing up.”


Liliana Bolaños, Nike The Grove, Los Angeles

Background: Liliana served as a coach for a Mamba League girls’ team for two years and now leads volunteer efforts at the local Boys & Girls Club.

What drives her to coach: “The smallest impression can make a big difference on someone’s life.”


Tahj Hardy, Nike Community Store, South Chicago

Background: Tahj helps get kids moving because of her passion for gymnastics, volunteering with organizations such as PeacePlayers.

What drives her to coach: “It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the neighborhood — as long as everyone can come together, sport can continue to bring that positivity.”


Tamara Demery, Nike Community Store, South Chicago

Background: A track and cross-country runner who missed out on sport during her school years, Tamara now volunteers with PeacePlayers.

What drives her to coach: “Sport is important in my life because it gave me an extended family.”


Rocky Etienne, Jr., Nike Community Store, Flatbush, New York City

Background: Rocky grew up in Flatbush and attended the Flatbush Beacon Center, which offers after-school programs for kids of all ages.

What drives him to coach: “Sport helps kids harness their energy into something good.”


Aulton Hargett, Nike SoHo, New York City

Background: Aulton has been volunteering since he was 16; sports broke him out of his shell at an early age and now he wants to help kids the same way sports helped him.

What drives him to coach:

“If you can get someone to feel comfortable with themselves, and have that start at an early age, that will build their confidence.”


Adrian Vasquez, Nike SoHo, New York City

Background: Adrian has been integral in setting up key community partnerships for the Nike Soho store, including ones with PS20 and Marathon Kids, where he volunteers.

What drives him to coach:

“I was a very tender person and always to the side; I don’t think I would have made many friends if it wasn’t for sports.”


Learn more about the Nike Community Ambassador program here.


As part of Sport Changes Everything, you can join Nike in getting kids active. Here’s how:


Become a coach.

Every kid needs a coach. Play a role in getting kids moving and playing by becoming a coach in your community.


Take the free How to Coach Kids course.

How to Coach Kids,is a free online course available to anyone, anywhere. The course is 30 minutes and provides tips and tricks for coaches working with kids in any sport –  helping deliver a great experience to keep them in the game. The free course was developed by Nike and the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee, inspired by the Aspen Institute’s Project Play.


Be a champion. Give Sport.

Starting July 11, you will be able to join Nike in support of three national community organizations. Your $1 donation in any Nike retail location in the U.S. will help get kids moving and playing their way to a brighter future:


  • Marathon Kids, an organization that Nike has partnered with since August 2015, to get more kids running and active across the country.
  • Girls Inc., an organization Nike has worked with since 2018 to support their physical literacy curriculum inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold.
  • PeacePlayers, an organization globally recognized for using sport to connect youth in divided communities that Nike has partnered with since 2016 to bring programming to life in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore.