After graduating high school with 9 varsity letters, Natalie Hummel attended Colorado State University and joined the women’s volleyball team. A coaching shakeup in her sophomore year saw Natalie go from benchwarmer to starter. The flip in coaching philosophy not only elevated her game but brought her team closer together as a unit; earning them a 7th seed ranking that year.
Natalie went on to earn her MBA and became a consultant working with high-profile clients. When her daughter was born, she and her family moved to Oregon where she took up corporate coaching. She’d feel the ripple effect once her clients’ plans came to fruition, but she had a desire to make a greater impact. When she met John Ballantine, she was introduced to the reality of how many children miss out on the opportunity to play sports due to financial barriers. She knew at that moment providing access for kids to play and learn would be her true calling and biggest passion.
Natalie went on to partner with John Ballatine to create Every Kid Sports. Part of Every Kid Sports mission is to highlight the fundamental life lessons learned through sports and provide access to children who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.
Besides promoting physical health and emotional wellbeing, sports are one of the most powerful youth development tools. Natalie argues that we’ve lost sight of that as a country; having become too focused on winning and losing and not the lessons in between.
Every Kid Sports’ philosophy is to remove the barriers to play, knocking down financial hurdles like registration fees. With the slogan of “we pay, kids play,” they constantly seek to provide children access to sports – no matter their income level.
Natalie is an inspiring agent for change; opening doors for kids to grow and develop in ways they never thought possible. Every Kid Sports is making an impact daily in the lives of America’s income-restricted families. By removing financial obstacles keeping children out of sports, Natalie and Every Kid Sports are investing in the future of youth sports and inclusivity. I hope you enjoy her interview and think about donating to this great program.