It is a historic moment in youth sports and sport-based youth development. We are only starting to fully understand the impact of the pandemic on the mounting physical, physiological, and psychological struggles that young people are experiencing. Our work is more crucial than ever!
Gaps in access due to the pandemic make the physical and mental health benefits associated with kids playing, moving, and connecting with mentors through our sports programs of even greater significance. In response to this gap in Lawrence, we undertook a six-month strategic planning process designed to strengthen the scope and impact of Beyond Soccer. As a result, our short-term support strategies of the past two years are giving way to a focus on youth development programming that better engages our community of older players, program alumni, and parents. Underneath the fun and camaraderie, sport can be used as a vehicle to provide creative and accessible solutions to some of an inner city’s most significant issues.
Brittany Ramirez, a former player I coached, affirmed this focus for me in a recent conversation. She said her role as a Coach Mentor has been life-altering. She could not believe how much influence she had, developing positive relationships and helping her Grade 3 players gain confidence. Ten years later, she is passing along valuable lessons she learned through sports to the next generation. Our mission in action - there is nothing more motivating!
I am very grateful for you and all you make possible for our program, and once again, I ask you to consider a year-end, tax-deductible gift to Beyond Soccer. Your support will enable us to continue making a critical difference in the lives of many children and their families.
Thank you, and warm regards,