Allegra recently made a slam dunk when the company teamed with NBA legend, model and mom Lisa Leslie to create the Allegra Outdoor Challenge. The campaign consists of a series of fun and affordable workout tips to help families get active outdoors—even during allergy season. From driveway drills to yard yoga, Leslie’s tips utilize simple household items and a little imagination to transform any outdoor space into a family fitness center, while fighting off allergy symptoms.
EBONY: How did the collaboration with Allegra come about?
Lisa Leslie: Allegra found me and I think it’s just a good fit. Both myself and my daughter have seasonal allergies, but [this is] also about the outdoor challenge and really encouraging moms and kids to get out and really trek through their allergies.
EBONY: When did you realize that your allergies were a problem for you and your daughter?
LL: I developed allergies probably, probably about five years ago. Lauren, my daughter, beginning around age 1, would break out in hives or small heat bumps. I remember feeling like, “Oh my God what is this?” It kept occurring right around the same time—springtime, soon as the wind gets going. For me, I always thought it was just because I was in Dallas until we moved, and then I realized, it definitely occurs every time the seasons change.
EBONY: You’ve created a few fitness tips for mothers and their children despite the battle of allergies. Where can fans find them and how can they get involved with combining exercise while fighting allergy season?
LL: The fitness tips were totally natural things that we literally did in our backyard—things that I do with my kids. Of course, me coming from the sports world in basketball, we have a basketball court, but even having that pavement there helps us. We jump rope—which Lauren and my son M. J. really love. Everything is about being active, and the tips that we have, they can find on Allegra’s Facebook page.
There’s also some images there where you can see me demonstrating some of the tips. I think more importantly it’s about exercising, having fun, encouraging your kids to get out. And we just give you some advice [to help you] get your kids active.
EBONY: You’re clearly a legend in the world of basketball. Can you share your thoughts about the current state and future of the WNBA?
LL: We couldn’t be more excited about where it’s going. I’m a co-owner of the LA Sparks and we—meaning the whole WNBA—just signed an extension with ESPN. This is huge, because ESPN has really taken a huge step to be more inclusive with professional women’s basketball. I think the fan support has been great. Clearly we have three—well more than just three—amazing players coming in from college with Brittney Griner coming in at number one; Elena Delle Donne who’ll be in Chicago, who won number two; and Skylar Diggins who’s at number three and will play in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
We’re really excited about where our stars are and what the future of the league holds. We’re going to see the game continue to evolve.
EBONY: We look forward to seeing it evolve as well. Are there any other upcoming projects or endeavors that we should keep an eye out for?
LL: I’m working with the American Federation for Children. And what I love about that is the AFC is really an advocate for kids having free-choice in education. Coming from the inner-city, we’re usually locked into wherever our zip code is, and I’m really excited to be a spokesperson for them because I feel very passionately about kids and education. Kids should be allowed to get the best education possible; the government doesn’t tell us what church we have to go to or what grocery store we have to shop at, and so I think we should also have free choice in education. That’s the main thing. It’s really great, and we’ve gotten a lot of support already from celebrities. We’re excited about the cause.
EBONY: You’re certainly a role model for kids, so it’s great that you’re invested in their well-being and future.
LL: I love kids, I love being a role model—who I tie my name to is very important to me. So I’m excited to be on team Allegra because it’s about moms and helping kids. I’m excited to be a part of the American Federation for Children as well, to hopefully increase awareness. It’s not a partisan issue, it’s just about allowing families to make the best educational choice.