Crisis Chat


Don Eshleman Photo

Sports World was founded in 1978 by Ira Lee “Doc” Eshleman. Through the Chaplaincy Program he started for the NFL/AFL, Doc developed a passion to give young people role models that would inspire them to make positive choices. He realized that professional athletes who have learned from their own experiences could inspire young people and be they role models they need.

Over the last 43 years, Sports World has reached over 20.1 million young people in the United States and internationally with the Message of Hope: that they are loved and that their lives have value and purpose. We bring hope and help for the immediate problems young people are experiencing and the opportunity to discover that hope is ultimately found in a relationship with Jesus.

Sports World reaches students through in-person and virtual school assemblies, SEL programs, and social media channels. We provide ongoing encouragement and resources to equip and empower young people long after our events have concluded.

Our methods have adapted due to COVID, but our commitment and goal remain the same: to bring desperately-needed HOPE to children and teens.

“Over the past 42 years Sports World has encouraged over 19 million students, teachers, administrators and coaches.”

Get Involved! Give

Students We Impact

Students often lack self esteem and face tremendous peer pressure, which may cause them to choose drugs, alcohol or even suicide. We work to see students experience:

  • Place (To belong and be accepted)
  • Purpose (Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?)
  • Pain relief (Healing from hurts—physically, emotionally, socially—and stop self-medicating)
  • Peace (Anxiety, worry, confusion)
  • Passion (Building confidence as I move forward in life)

Hear from a Student

Our Mission

Sports World sends former professional athletes to share personal life experiences with students, helping them to recognize the consequences of their choices while challenging them with The Message of Hope.

Get Involved Today!

Call Now