With the help of Nike, tennis Champion Naomi Osaka has expanded her philanthropic efforts into new territory. In the coming weeks, Osaka and Nike will utilize their joint endeavor, Play Academy, to empower young girls in Haiti and Los Angeles, California to pursue their athletic interests. This initiative falls in line with Osaka's goal to help change the lives of girls of color across the world.
“I’m passionate about breaking barriers that girls face when it comes to opportunities to access and benefit from play and sport. Play Academy’s expansion represents an even greater opportunity to do that," Osaka explained.
Play Academy started its efforts in Japan before moving to Haiti and the United States. Each of these three countries plays an integral role in the development of the sports superstar. She was born in Japan and raised by a Haitian father before finding herself living a lavish life in Los Angeles, California today. In an effort to lend a helping hand, Osaka works tirelessly to help Black, Latinx and Asian communities in need.
“The beauty of Play Academy is that it reflects all of the communities where Naomi has a personal connection,” Nike executive Caitlin Morris said.
“We share her belief that play is for everyone. Young girls in places like Los Angeles and Haiti may have different social and cultural reasons for why play and sport have been difficult to access, but in the end, they all need an opportunity to play – as well as authentic role models like Naomi, who fully embrace who they are and what they believe in.”
Moving forward, Osaka and Nike will work to collaborate with organizations in the two areas. The two sides plan to release an official list of partners later this year.
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