Athletes Move On From Starring to Serving Others

A trio of former sports stars shared powerful messages at the inaugural The Sports Fund Lecture series Friday morning at Vanderbilt’s McGugin Center.

Former Tennessee Titans stars Chris Hope and Chris Sanders, as well as all-time Vanderbilt basketball scoring leader Shan Foster spoke at the event titled “Life After Sports: Giving Back.” Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director David Williams, who serves as chair of The Sports Fund advisory board, hosted and moderated.

“We’re trying to transition from being successful to being significant,” said Hope, both an NCAA and Super Bowl champion and former All-Pro safety with Pittsburgh Steelers and Titans. “We got here not because we’re talented. We got here because someone else sacrificed for us.”

Sanders, now an assistant coach and administrator at Montgomery Bell Academy, said: “It’s easier to train up a boy than to repair a man. The way to be great is to make others great.”

Foster, who heads the YWCA’s MEND initiative dedicated to ending violence against women and girls in the community, said, “One of the biggest lessons I learned from sports is that failure is a choice. The only time you fail is when you don’t get up after getting knocked down… It’s about experiencing adversity and pushing through it.”

The event was the first of a continuing lecture series for The Sports Fund, an initiative of The Community Foundation dedicated to helping ensure Middle Tennessee children have access to the opportunities sports and team membership provide – ultimately, helping them succeed in school and in life. As a permanent endowed source of funding, The Sports Fund distributes grant funds to nonprofits and community programs in Middle Tennessee that work proactively to prevent a range of issues facing our children, such as childhood obesity, gang membership, teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates.


#CityOnTour 2017

We are grateful that The Sports Fund was included in Manchester City’s community outreach initiative right here in Nashville, TN. On Friday, July 29 they delivered an exciting youth-led soccer festival to community children at Vanderbilt Stadium. Learn more here.


D2-AdA shout out to iQSP for supporting The Sports Fund!
We are appreciative of iQSP for their support of The Sports Fund in the 2016 publication of D2.

D2 covers 11 Tennessee Division II-AA private schools bringing a community of competitors together and paralleling their upcoming seasons, rivalries, and schools. Division II-AA is the elite high school football of Tennessee, and D2 is the only magazine that provides you the information about each D2 school.

Flip through the magazine here or purchase your very own here.


The Sports Fund had a great time at the 2016 Music City Sports Festival.

The Music City Sports Festival is the premiere annual sports event that gets attendees up close and personal with local, regional, and national sports programs and personalities.

Each person who stopped by to learn more about the work of The Sports Fund walked away with his/her very own trading card.


To view full album, click here.