On Trevor Lawrence’s first day in Jacksonville, he and his wife, Marissa, got a taste of what football means to the community when dozens of cheering kids welcomed them to TIAA Bank Field.
On his final day as a Jaguar, Lawrence has done his part to give back to the same community that embraced him with open arms and cheering voices.
Lawrence did so Monday along with Gatorade, with the partnership between the Jaguars’ franchise quarterback and the prolific and historic company setting the stage to donate to TRUE Youth, a social impact organization based in Jacksonville. Lawrence and Gatorade surprised the organization and local Jacksonville kids at Westside Middle School with a special announcement.
“We were able to make a donation to pay for all the equipment and participation fees for the next two seasons,” Lawrence told Jaguar Report on Monday.
“So kids can come out here and play sports and not have to worry about how much it’s going to cost or you know or how they’re going to be able to do it. So that was something that we were able to do, just to try to give back and really inspire the next generation to keep playing sport and make it as easy as possible.
“Being able to give back to the community is definitely a big priority for us, and Gatorade as well. So having a partner who also has a passion for that makes it a lot easier.
The donation is one way for Lawrence and Gatorade to help drive positive change through the brand’s Fuel Tomorrow initiative — an initiative that’s helping children have equal opportunities to play.
And through REAL Youth, Lawrence was able to do just that, giving back to an organization and community that places an emphasis on giving Jacksonville’s youth all the opportunities they need.
“We are a non-profit youth organization that develops, supports and promotes a wide variety of education and youth sports activities with a focus on providing children with opportunities to grow as students, players and most importantly as individuals,” TRUE Youth’s. page reads.
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“At the TRUE Experience, we have football and basketball games tailored to the players and team needs. At TRUE we offer training for all athletes from kindergarten through eighth grade. We have something for you all year round.”
For Lawrence, it was a way for the second-year quarterback and No. 1 overall pick. 1 of 2021 to help inspire the next generation. Lawrence was once a high school kid playing football, hoping to make it to the NFL and follow in his hero’s footsteps. Now, he wants to ensure the next generation has a chance to do the same.
“I think any time you have a greater appreciation for the sport, the more you’re about the game, but then about the next generation and the kids as well, and just seeing the passion they have for it,” Lawrence said.
“It always reminds you why you play, how you started. And just that love you have for the game, it reminds you every time I’m out here, so it’s a lot of fun, just from that end, and then to be able to make a tangible impact on the kids as well by covering the cost of equipment and fees for the next two years, obviously, that’s great and that’s something that’s important as well.”
But aside from being able to help future high school, college and professional sports stars have more chances to play the sport they love, Monday meant something else to Lawrence.
Monday meant giving back to the same community that was there the first day he stepped foot in Jacksonville — the young people of a community that has embraced their new quarterback the way he has embraced them.
“It’s nice to be in a position where you can have an impact on young people, I think it’s definitely important and something I’m passionate about. And just trying to, along with that, bring the community together. I think Jacksonville is a special place and being here for a year now and interacting with different people in the community, obviously all my teammates and people in the building, I think it’s a really special place. that has a ton of potential. Lawrence said.
“And obviously, the team, the Jaguars, has a big impact on the city. So we’re just trying to make it better and better. And hopefully what we’re able to do helps with that.”
And just as Lawrence has received support from teammates and coaches throughout his football journey to and from Jacksonville, he again had another key teammate by his side Monday. Gatorade used its long association to embrace youth sports to ensure that Lawrence and Jacksonville kids could connect and grow sports together.
“It’s like anything. You can’t really, you can’t do much on your own. You can definitely do some things, but it makes it a lot easier when you have good people around you and you have relationships with good brands. , good companies and great partners, said Lawrence.
“So having them has helped a lot. And Gatorade has a passion for giving back to communities and trying to make this world a better place. And it’s been, it definitely makes it a lot easier for me when you’re with a company. that he’s also passionate about it and just has so many resources and I’ve been able to help so much and it’s been so much fun.”