Gatorade Colorado Girls Soccer Player of the Year pays it forward

Annest after scoring the go-ahead goal in the State Championship

Annest after scoring the go-ahead goal in the State Championship

Colorado Academy alumna Mari Annest ’19 has been named the 2019 Gatorade Colorado Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

“The Gatorade Player of the Year award highlights student-athletes who set an example both on and off the field,” says Amanda Turak, Assistant Marketing Manager for Gatorade Player of the Year. Annest is playing Division I Soccer at Northwestern University.

All 607 Gatorade State Player of the Year recipients are awarded a $1,000 grant to donate to the organization of their choosing. Annest chose to give the grant to Horizons at CA. Horizons at CA is a nonprofit program offering 6 weeks of summer enrichment and 6 “Super Saturdays” during the academic year to 150 Denver Public School students from low-income families.

“Horizons at Colorado Academy has long valued the importance of a strong athletics and health and wellness program as part of our summer enrichment program for underserved Denver youth,” says Horizons Executive Director Daniela Meltzer.  “We are thrilled that Mari Annest chose to donate to Horizons at CA. With this generous contribution, we were able to expand the athletic offerings for the 2019 Horizons summer program, helping our students gain self-confidence through sports.”

In many communities, sports have seen a decline over the past decade, largely due to tighter budgets, but young people who participate in sports are found to be happier, healthier, and better students. Gatorade Play It Forward empowers Gatorade Player of the Year recipients across the country to award local or national sports organizations with grants, so they can continue helping young athletes enjoy the benefit of sports.