Our Vision and Strategy
VISION: Sports are seen as a way to develop communities. It often provides youth with somewhere safe to congregate, and it usually fosters community spirit. However, providing sports opportunities alone cannot fix the gender and financial inequality. We need to do more than just get kids off the streets. We want to establish a gateway for elite athletes living in impoverished, low-income, and disadvantaged communities to transition from recreational sports to college, professional and Olympic level training and competition.
(Phase 1) Leadership 1st Academy: This is an in-class, life-skills, educational program we will be introducing with your assistance. Participants will go through a six-week course covering topics such as problem-solving, team development, situational leadership etc. In all, we will cover 12 topics designed to help build character and self-awareness.
(Phase 2) Elite Training: Our athletes do not have access to high-level, meaningful training. The cost associated with professional training prevents these athletes from enhancing their skill set.
(Phase 3) Tournament Team: We are in the process of developing tournament teams so that our athletes can compete alongside their suburban counterparts.
(Phase 4) Showcase Tournaments: This goes to the heart of what we are attempting to address. If our players cannot attend these tournaments, they will not have the opportunity to compete against top completion.
(Phase 5) College and Showcase Camps: Our final initiative will be to send players to college prospect showcase camps and clinics and/or host college coaches.
Our slogan, LIVE, LOVE, LEAD Legacy is the understanding that who they are is how they will be remembered, every day they must live in the way they want to be remembered, they must love who they are and what they stand for. Finally, they must lead those who will follow in their footsteps.
Engaging youth in physical activities: There’s a myth that all kids have been sucked into playing video games and as a result, shy away from sports. In our area, kids are afraid to go outside, parents are working two jobs and access to sports in schools has all but evaporated in the urban areas. We need to create meaningful and accessible opportunities. Physical activities can improve children's health and self-esteem, build strong interpersonal skills, and actually help improve a child's academic performance. Unfortunately, about 48% of schools have done away with physical education due to budget cuts. Physical education has often been overlooked for years despite the tremendous values it offers to children. Here’s how this all ties into our mission. Kids who participate in schools sports need the skills to at least make the team. However, since schools have reduced and/or eliminated physical education, the skills needed must be acquired elsewhere. In order to acquire these skills families pay an enormous amount of money for specialized trainers and coaches. Unfortunately, low-income families don’t have this option. As a result, kids from poor neighborhoods are not only left out of community sports but are left out of school sports.
Bringing physical activity to the urban setting: According to a recent report from the Aspen Institute, “The share of children ages 6 to 12 who play a team sport on a regular basis declined from 41.5 percent in 2011 to 37 percent in 2017, among richer families, youth sports participation is actually rising. Among the poorest households, it’s trending down. Just 34 percent of children from families earning less than $25,000 played a team sport at least one day in 2017.” We are experiencing this firsthand. Our kids are left out. Even worse, programs that are supposed to be for inner-city girls are now being used to recruit suburban players because they have more financial support. Meaningful sports for the urban community have all but disappeared. Families no longer believe in athletics as a way to become a better all-around individual. It’s not just that access to sports is a challenge, it’s that when we do have access, the upside is limited and conditions horrendous. One of the trends we are up against is the idea that our communities deserve whatever we have and must accept worn out hand-me-downs. Imagine being a child who is transported from a run down home, only to find themselves playing with worn down equipment on an ill-kept field or in a less than adequate facility. This cycle has broken the inner-city spirit of competition. With your assistance, we can change this.
Promoting Gender Equality in all level of sports: According to an Olympic.Org article, “There are still, everywhere in the world, too many highly accomplished women who are refused access to sport, or socially stigmatized when they decide to excel in a sport. Similarly, women face discrimination at all levels and continue to endure violence and abuse” This is a problem even at the grassroots level. It has an even greater impact on girls of color. In our area, a quick Google search of fastpitch softball teams tells the story. There are no teams made of girls of color. This is because most girls of color come from low-income areas and cannot afford to pay the fees required to be part of competitive teams in the area. Unfortunately, these competitive teams are the ones playing in front of college coaches and recruiters. They receive specialized training and practice all year. We want to level the playing field. Not just for us but for girls of color across this nation and beyond.