Vol athletes team up with ETCH, Emerald Youth to serve as role models for kids

Spyre Sports and Vol athletes are using name, image, and likeness to help guide East Tennessee kids under what’s being called Volunteer Legacy.
With the guidance of Spyre Sports, Vol athletes are using name, image, and likeness to help guide East Tennessee kids under what's being called Volunteer Legacy
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 7:54 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2022 at 7:57 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Spyre Sports and Vol Athletes met with officials from Emerald Youth and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital on Tuesday to unveil a new non-profit aimed at helping pair student athletes with children in hopes of having a positive impact on their lives.

Volunteer Legacy will use the name, image, and likeness to benefit not only student athletes but also the Knoxville community.

Organizers expect the program will create a partnership with charities that positively impact the community by providing much needed services to the community and the children who live there.

“This effort will seek to consistently engage University of Tennessee athletes with Tennessee youth to positively influence their lives,” Brandon Spurlock, vice president of fundraising and engagement with Volunteer Legacy, said.

“Volunteer Legacy benefits both student athletes and Tennessee youth by offering student athletes the opportunity to coach kids, positively impacting their lives. Our student athletes coach kids in sports clinics, focusing on physical activity and preparedness while promoting leadership qualities, study skills, social skills, and health and nutrition. The sports clinics and events offered by Volunteer Legacy are designed to help kids be more motivated, more responsible, and healthier as they move into adulthood.”

Volunteer Legacy

ETCH and Emerald Youth are the first to partner with Spyre Sports for the new program.

The Emerald Youth Foundation has served more than 30,000 children in the Knoxville community by helping them develop leadership skills while focusing on mental and physical health and putting an emphasis on education.

The foundation offers after school programs to help children in education, faith, and sports.

“So many student-athletes at UT grow up in neighborhoods similar to the ones of our young people at Emerald Youth,” president and CEO of Emerald Youth Foundation Steve Diggs said. “That connection, coupled with natural alignment with our programs, makes this a meaningful connection that will be mutually beneficial. My prayer is that the impact of these relationships will ripple for many years to come.”

The Volunteer Legacy will organize regular hospital visits with patients at ETCH to encourage them as well as promote major fundraising efforts on behalf of the hospital.