NextUp Live

NextUp Live S1E6: How CHJS Is Working to Unite the Youth Sports Industry

By Melissa Wickes
September 27, 2021
3 min

Welcome to the latest episode of NextUp Live!

This new interview series from LeagueApps and our NextUp community, features inspiring stories from people, news, and happenings around the industry.

Today, I am excited to talk with Pharlone Toussaint, the director of external affairs at Center for Healing & Justice Through Sport, and my former colleague at Laureus USA.

(Click here if you can’t play the video above.)

Talking Youth Sports and Uniting the Industry

Not only is Pharlone a former colleague, but her boss and I also serve on the PLAY Sports Coalition, where we get the value of her brain, her network, and her giving spirit.

I was excited to catch up with her to learn more about CHJS, why they rebranded from We Coach, the work we’re doing at PLAY, and what’s next up for their organization.

We talked about their launch week that took them from We Coach to CHJS. They worked with Muggsy Bogues as an ambassador during their launch week. Pharlone said:

Muggsy Bogues truly and deeply cares about creating healing-centered environments for athletes. He understands that you’re not foregoing performance by doing sport differently.

Then we discussed a recent OpEd we co-authored that calls for a truly united industry to enact changes for youth sports. She said:

How cool is it that these behemouth organizations can put ego aside and choose to work together? You can go fast alone, but if you want to go further, you have to do it together. Going fast has gotten us nowhere for a long time. This group has shown us that they are ready and willing to go further together and willing to do what it takes to rally the entire youth sports industry to do something different. The youth in our communities deserve better. Our families deserve better. We’re ready to fight for what’s better together. 

She continued by saying:

It wasn’t easy to get all of these organizations on one piece of paper. But people need to realize that we should be attracted to what’s right instead of what’s simple. We have a long way to go in making change for the youth sports industry, but if we are one band with one sound, we’ll get there. Together.

CHJS recently announced a new collaboration—a COVID Relief Training Program initiative with Laureus that provides organizations with training and data-collection tools at no cost. When speaking about it, Pharlone said:

This program gives coaches the ability to support youth in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine. In many cases, the organizations that have the bandwidth and capacity get the resources first. There is no judgment towards that, but we need to be intentional about who needs them the most.

We closed the conversation by asking what’s “next up” for CHJS and Pharlone spilled the beans on something HUGE that is happening for them through the end of the year.

I don’t want to spoil her news so you’ll have to watch the interview to find out what it is. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it because it’s something that will allow you to give back in a way you’re likely already doing.

Learn More About CHJS

Formally known as We Coach, CHJS is a new national nonprofit organization backed by science that brings trauma-informed sport to youth who need it most.

CHJS is releasing a national application for coaches to receive training on healing-centered sport. It is also spearheading The Agenda to Transform Youth Sports, a movement-building tool that calls on stakeholders nationwide to change harmful sports systems so that all kids have access to sports experiences that help them heal and thrive.

And be sure to subscribe to the LeaugeApps YouTube channel, where you will see a new episode of NextUp Live every week.