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How new uniforms can make a lasting impact for young athletes

New and sharp-looking uniforms can make sports teams feel a sense of pride. But the cost of buying new team apparel can be prohibitive.

That’s where West40 helped make a difference for athletes on a local Special Olympics team.


Through a grant, West40 provided community scholarship funding to the Pleasantdale Tigers 107 Special Olympics basketball team to purchase new uniforms that arrived in time for the first game of the Fall 2023 season.


“The team looks great in the new jerseys,” said team coach Carissa Zill. “We ordered 35 jerseys and shorts to account for a range of sizes for future growth and changes in athletes.”


Zill remarked that in the past, some athletes tied their jerseys at their hip so they didn’t come down to their knees.


“One of the greatest impacts of the new uniforms is being able to provide athletes with jerseys and shorts that fit appropriately,” Zill said. “But most of all – the pride on the faces of the athletes knowing that not only did they get to help select the new jersey design, but that they were made just for them.”


West40’s Director of grants, Cara Wiley, said being able to offer such opportunities to youth is at the core of the work that we do.


“We truly believe every child deserves an opportunity to have experiences that bring a smile to their face, expand their knowledge or take them to places they may otherwise not get the chance to visit,” Wiley said.


Partners are eligible to receive up to $5,000 per application.


There are 22 students on the Pleasantdale Tigers Special Olympics roster. Athletes range in grade from 8 years old to 8th grade.


There are also plans to order cold weather gear for the team’s track and field season, according to Zill.


The Pleasantdale Tigers 107 team serves athletes from multiple surrounding districts, including Gower, Gurrie, McClure, Highlands, Westchester, LADSE, and Hodgkins.

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