Alex McCoy Launches Drive to Collect Items for Leveling the Playing Field


LPF has helped students overcome the financial barrier in sports by providing the necessary equipment to participate. Photo: Creative Commons.

Led by Center for Ethical Leadership Coordinator Alex McCoy, Sidwell Friends School participated in the Leveling the Playing Field drive to ensure students have access to the necessary resources and support to participate in athletic programming.

Recognizing the financial burden that purchasing athletic equipment imposes on families, McCoy created a Sidwell partnership with Leveling the Playing Field (LPF) to help bridge the financial gap and make athletic equipment more accessible.

McCoy hopes that by eliminating the financial gaps, athletes can compete in an equitable environment without advantages due to socioeconomic status.

According to junior Alma Degener, the ability to purchase sports equipment is a luxury several students do not have access to, especially since several sports, such as lacrosse and field hockey, require expensive equipment.

Junior Lux Winterhof added that it is “important to help people to do the thing they love and to realize their potential; especially since you never want someone to be limited by what they can afford or what they have access two.”

The donations make a huge impact on several of my teammates and other athletes in the Sidwell community.

— Jude Kelly '26

Hoping to create a more accessible athletic environment, LPF implemented several vital programs — including donation drives, fundraisers, volunteer opportunities, equipment exchanges and financial scholarships — reliant on student participation.

Freshman Colette Lee, a participant in an LPF drive, found the experience rewarding, explaining how the opportunity to donate sporting equipment “helped my younger friends participate in sports they would normally not have the opportunity to.”

Lee added that “the privilege of picking and choosing sports desensitizes many kids from realizing how others are not able to afford the same luxury as them, especially since seemingly inexpensive sports have unprecedented costs.”

“Being raised in a very sports oriented family inspired me to donate to LPF,” said Winterhof. “Hopefully, my contributions will help students obtain the sports equipment they need to thrive athletically and live up to their potential unhindered by insurmountable costs or hidden fees.”

McCoy expects that student participation in LPF will create a sense of unity , equity and shared responsibility in the Sidwell community, minimizing the impact of financial gaps on athletic accessibility and performance.

Freshman Jude Kelly hopes Sidwell continues to hold LPF drives in the near future, since “the donations make a huge impact on several of my teammates and other athletes in the Sidwell community.”