LA84 Summit Recap: Life Transformed Through Sports, Setting a New Course

LA84 Foundation President & CEO Renata Simril delivered the keynote address at the 5th Annual LA84 Foundation Summit on October 27, 2016 in Downtown Los Angeles. The Summit’s title was “Playing Forward: The Present and Future of Youth Sports in Los Angeles.” See the full video of the speech below. 

Her remarks centered around “leveling and elevating” the field. These are two key LA84 themes that Simril explained serve as framework and guide for the foundation.

Leveling the field means providing an opportunity for all children, regardless of family income, geographic location, gender – any factor that hinders a kid’s ability to participate,” Simril said. “And elevating the field means being a national convener, bringing people together to talk about and elevate the role that sports can and do provide for positive youth development.”

Simril’s address following welcoming remarks by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who she thanked for his words. Simril was escorted to the stage by seven-foot-tall mascot, Sam the Eagle, and then introduced to the standing room audience of more than 400 people by Summit emcee Julie Foudy.

READ MORE: The Power of Girls Who Play

“She is considered a civic and private sector trailblazer,” Foudy said of Simril, offering highlights of Simril’s biography. “And of course has done so much in this space for so many years.”

Simril debuted for the audience a brand-new video about LA84. The piece was produced by Fox Sports West, a Summit sponsor.  “As you saw from the video, we’ve made a tremendous impact in the last 30 years, from Santa Barbara to San Diego County,” Simril said.

She continued: “We’re really excited about the work that we’ve done. But what excites me and my team the most is that our work is just beginning,” Simril said. “You know the Olympic model that adorns our 1984 torch: Citius, Altius, Fortius. In Latin, that means, ‘Higher, Faster, Stronger,’ and it’s in the context of those Olympic ideals that we’re here today.”

Simril also shared stories, and showed photographs of, her childhood and the role that sports played. She then spotlighted two student-athletes with connections to programs supported by LA84: High school water polo player and LA84 Sambassador, Sarajoy Salib; and college football player Cailin Moore.

“It is the legacy of our work, transforming the lives of young people, that’s what today is about,” Simril said. “It’s about playing the legacy of our work forward so that we all can create opportunities for the millions of Caylins and SaraJoys out there.”

See more from the Summit and the latest from LA84 here