2020 RWJF Sports Award Winners Announced: AGE UP, Border Youth Tennis Exchange, Running Medicine, Soccer in the Streets, and the United States Association of Blind Athletes

    • October 4, 2020
A young girl plays withe a green basketball.

Princeton, N.J.—AGE UP, Border Youth Tennis Exchange, Running Medicine, Soccer in the Streets and the United States Association of Blind Athletes have been selected as 2020 winners of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Sports Award. The winners will receive a $25,000 cash award and were honored during a virtual ceremony that aired live on the RWJF Facebook page.

This award recognizes and honors those in sport who display an innovative and collaborative approach to making their communities a healthier place to live. This includes sports teams, athletes, and community-based organizations that use sports as a platform to address many of the root causes that influence health and health equity.

Past winners include the Chattanooga Football Club, Chicago Fire Foundation, Doc Wayne, Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, Figure Skating in Harlem, InnerCity Weightlifting, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, MLSE Foundation, PeacePlayers International, San Francisco Giants Community Fund, Soccer Without Borders, The Moyer Foundation, The Sanneh Foundation, Tony Hawk Foundation and the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.

“I'm inspired by this year's winners who show us the power of sports to connect us and make us healthier, no matter our race, gender, abilities or economic background,” said Julie Morita, RWJF executive vice president. “Playing sports unites people, and that's a wonderful vision for a healthier, more just, more equitable world for everyone.”

Below are the winners:

All Girl Everything Ultimate Program (AGE UP) is engaging South Seattle youth of color through their love of ultimate frisbee and their commitment to equity and social justice. 

"AGE UP is honored to become part of such an amazing community of RWJF awardees, present and past. We are excited to learn from and connect with the brilliance represented here, as we all continue the fight to build a better and more just world through sports. Thank you, RWJF, for your support of this essential work for so many years!" —Hana Kawai, co-director, AGE UP

Border Youth Tennis Exchange (BYTE) is a binational youth development organization that provides athletic and tech-based academic instruction to children on both sides of the US/Mexico border. In this way, BYTE services support resilient cross-border communities and promote a positive appreciation for the border region.

"BYTE is honored to have been selected as an RWJF Sport Award winner and to be recognized out of so many amazing and impactful organizations. It gives us confidence that our cross-border work with children and families is important, timely and poised to expand its reach. We're grateful to RWJF for continuing to support grassroots community efforts during this difficult time."  —Charlie Cutler, BYTE founder & executive director

Running Medicine offers family-oriented walking and running programs for Native Americans in Albuquerque creating a Culture of Health that is available to all people regardless of ability, age, fitness level or ability to pay.

“We are excited to receive this RWJF Sports Award, and we look forward to the community that will be built among the award recipients over the months and years to come.” —Dr. Anthony Fleg, director, Running Medicine

Soccer in the Streets has reframed health equity around transit hubs in the inner city by repurposing unused land in the heart of Atlanta to be more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

“Soccer in the Streets and our StationSoccer partners are both humbled and honored for this prestigious recognition. History tells us the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has impacted many communities—winning this year's RWJF Sports Award means we are making positive strides in the health, equity and social justice space, we are very proud to accept this award." —Sanjay Patel, director of Strategic Projects, Soccer in the Streets

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) uses adaptive sports to assist and support individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

"Winning the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award is an affirmation that the United States Association of Blind Athletes is building a Culture of Health and wellness for blind and visually impaired Americans. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has made a clear connection between health and sports, and receiving this award from a foundation dedicated to health-related outcomes solidifies our intent of influencing people to realize the critical role physical activity plays in one’s health."  —Molly Quinn, CEO, USABA

 

ABOUT THE ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION SPORTS AWARD

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award honors the innovative and collaborative efforts of individuals, organizations and teams that are making their communities healthier through sport. For more information on the award, visit www.rwjf.org/sportsaward.

ABOUT THE ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION

For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

Media Contacts

Jordan Reese

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-6322

Additional Media Contact: Alisha Greenberg

RWJF Sports Award (301) 657-9379

This year's winners of the RWJF Sports Award were honored during a virtual ceremony. Watch on YouTube.

 

RWJF Sports Award

The RWJF Sports Award focuses on recognizing those in sport who display an innovative and collaborative approach to making their communities a healthier place to live.

Learn more