The Y Partners with Gatorade to Break Down Barriers in Sports

Initiative helps ensure all kids have equal opportunities to play sports and realize their potential

CHICAGO (Sept. 8, 2022) – Research shows that playing sports can have lasting social, emotional and physical benefits, but youth participation is on the decline. A new partnership between YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) and Gatorade seeks to break down barriers young athletes face, including financial challenges, lack of role models, too much pressure and low self-confidence. The $500,000 donation from Gatorade to the Y will provide local youth sports clinics, increased scholarships for youth sports and expanded outreach to make an even greater impact in the communities the Y serves.

This summer, the Y and Gatorade hosted four youth sports clinics at YMCAs in Chicago, Denver, Jacksonville and Syracuse, providing instruction for youth participants and helping to spotlight the pivotal role the Y plays in helping young athletes unlock their potential. Candace Parker— two-time WNBA champion, three-time WNBA MVP and Gatorade athlete—attended the event in Chicago. “I know firsthand how important it is to have strong role models and mentors as a young athlete,” said Parker. “That’s why I believe it’s important to support local community organizations that help break down barriers and drive positive change for the next generation of athletes.”

In addition to the clinics, Gatorade’s donation will help Ys continue to serve communities with an emphasis on girls and youth from underserved communities, provide staff training to support social-emotional learning, and enhance equitable processes and procedures, all in an effort to increase the number of kids who participate in and benefit from youth sports.

“The Y understands that youth sports can have a life-changing impact on children and teens,” said Suzanne McCormick, president and CEO of Y-USA. “Every child deserves a chance to play. YMCAs provide welcoming and safe environments for all kids and Gatorade’s donation will help us reach even more children and teens who lack opportunities to play sports and fulfill their potential.”

To learn more about how Gatorade is helping to Fuel the Athletes of Tomorrow visit here.

About the Y
Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide. Learn more at

About Gatorade

The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), meets the needs of consumers who participate in sports and fitness, through brands that include Gatorade, Propel, Muscle Milk, and Evolve. The solutions they provide are driven by a deep understanding of the unique occasions and needs across athletic activity. Gatorade, their marquee brand, is underpinned by a 56-year history of studying the best athletes in the world, and sports nutrition research by the Gatorade Sport Science Institute, allowing it to provide scientifically formulated products that meet athletes' needs both on and off the field. For more information and a full list of products, please visit


The Y Partners with Gatorade to Break Down Barriers in Sports