Local nonprofit Think Kindness this month is recruiting youth sports teams to partner in a new program, Sports 4 All NV, to increase participation by low-income kids. The program was created this year to provide scholarships covering registration fees for kids whose parents would otherwise not be able to enroll them on the team.
“From Pop Warner football to baseball, swimming, volleyball, basketball, martial arts, every one of these sports teaches way more than the sport itself,” said Brian Williams, founder of Think Kindness. “It teaches children perseverance, teamwork, resilience, self-confidence, but above all how to be a good human being.”
Research backs up Williams’ claims. According to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Science Board, youth sports participation is associated with improved mental, emotional and social health; improved physical health; and educational and career success.
Williams said the program has already raised more than $60,000 in pledges from area businesses to fund the effort. Now, he says, all that’s needed are the sports organizations, teams and players.
Organizations need to meet a handful of requirements to participate in the program. They must be able to accommodate 10 to 50 scholarship athletes, provide mid- and post-season progress reports on those athletes, attend a pre-season coaches meeting and commit to specific life skills integration.
Sports 4 All NV will host a live Zoom meeting for youth sports organizations and teams Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. to provide more information. They’ll also be gathering feedback from participants on how Think Kindness can better support youth sports in northern Nevada.
For more information visit https://thinkkindness.org/sports4all/.
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with 20 years’ experience working in communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. In her free time, she is a volunteer backpacking guide along the Tahoe Rim Trail, an avid home cook and baker, cyclist, wife and stepmom.