GLM Highlights in Sports – Linking Sports & Communities

Linking Sports

Linking Sports & Communities was chosen to be honored as one of our GLM Highlights in Sports. Linking Sports & Communities Helps Athletes Excel Off the Field says Denise Meridith, Founder & President, Linking Sports & Communities. In 2014, its eleventh year, when some non-profits would be fading, Linking Sports & Communities LLC (LSC) is getting stronger. LSC is an Arizona-wide 501(c)(3) non-profit, headquartered in Phoenix, which encourages student athletes, ages 12-18, to stay in school, lead healthy lifestyles and be financially responsible. It is “an association of associations,” and has developed a strong partnership composed of academic, governmental, private and non-profit entities. LSC is responsible for creating annual events, such as Arizona Youth Sports Day, Military Family Appreciation Night, Community Leadership Awards and Arizona Youth Sports Week. Despite the financial challenges facing non-profits, LSC has provided educational workshops on health issues (e.g., good nutrition, concussions, steroids) and financial planning for young athletes; sports clinics in soccer, basketball, baseball and football; sports outings for underserved families; and recognition and encouragement for students, organizations and athletes providing exceptional community service.

“With all of the negative temptations and poor role models in sports, we risk losing valuable citizens,” says Founder and President Denise Meridith. “Our mottos is today’s student athletes are tomorrow’s community leaders. It is up to all of us to nurture and mentor, not exploit, these youth.” In 2014, LSC began to expand its reach among adults to enhance the relationship among athletes, sports organization and their communities. With Phoenix International Raceway, Brotha Love Productions and others, it helped launch the Photographers of Color Conference to introduce more people of color to the career, business and recreational opportunities associated with motorsports. In 2015, it will help professional athletes make the connections to transition to careers off the field.

This totally volunteer organization seeks to use sports to strengthen communities and to serve as a role model and advisor for non-profit organizations throughout the US.