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Right to Play Big Red Ball Gala: Playing a sport helps deal with adversity

DoubleGSports reporters Charlie Mule (left) and Erin Underwood (right) speak with Sarah Groffy True on the red carpet at the Big Red Ball hosted by Right to Play. (Photo by Catalina Fragoso - Double G Media)

DoubleGSports reporters Charlie Mule (left) and Erin Underwood (right) speak with Sarah Groffy True on the red carpet at the Big Red Ball hosted by Right to Play. (Photo by Catalina Fragoso – Double G Media)

On Monday night, “Right To Play,” a global nonprofit organization that uses sport and play programs to educate and empower children facing adversity, hosted its annual Big Red Ball in New York City. In attendance were current and former athletes, Olympians and role models.

Many kids deal with adversity everyday whether it be in school or at home, and Right To Play helps kids get away from the stresses of everyday life and onto the field or ice. Athletes from all over talked about how special the event was to them and how important the “Right To Play” is. Dealing with adversity is not easy and could become very strenuous, but simply picking up a ball or stepping onto the ice or field could relieve a day filled with stress.

Four-time speed skating Olympic gold medalist and Founder of Right To Play Johann Koss was proud of the turnout and is happy with what Right To Play has accomplished thus far.

“An event like this is amazing for us,” Koss said. “Having such great athletes show up in support of us is truly an inspiration.”

Koss has been an inspiration to kids throughout the world as he and Right To Play have become an international organization. The four-time gold medalist also spoke about how sports can help deal with adversity in an everyday life.

“Having the chance to participate on the field or ice and having somewhere to go play regularly can not only change, but transform lives,” Koss said. “It makes them believe in themselves and gets them educated.”

Two-time women’s ice hockey Olympic silver medalist Molly Schaus also weighed in on how playing helps her deal with everyday life.

“Whether it was a group of boys giving me a hard time off the ice, or joining a new team when I stepped onto the ice and put on that mask and got in the net it was a feeling of comfort and confidence,” Schaus said. “Confidence carries over to the classroom and into the real world and I think that’s huge.”

Also on hand were New York Rangers Ryan McDonagh, Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider and Matt Zuccarello.

“Growing up as a kid and a teenager obviously you are going through some changes and going to have to deal with adversity,” Kreider said. “Being able to get away from that for a little bit by stepping onto the ice or field is obviously a big part of that.”

Being a kid in school is not easy. There is homework and meetings, work and chorus but being able to put all of the aside for an hour or two a day is huge.

“Sometimes when you’re not feeling well or you’re down and depressed sports can be used as a motivation,” Brassard said. “Sports allows you to let your frustration go. When you see kids out there playing a sport and smiling, there is nothing better.”

Right To Play helps and teaches over one million kids weekly and is making a difference worldwide.

 

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