National Youth Sports (NYS), a non-profit youth sports program, is trying to help keep the kids of San Antonio, Texas’ Sunrise Division off the streets this summer through the implementation of organized sports programs. The NYS’s mission is, “to strengthen the individual, the family, and the community through participation in youth sports. Each program is centered around sportsmanship and emphasizes fun and the importance of fair play.”
NYS will be partnering with the Judson Independent School District and the San Antonio Police Department create a variety of free sports programs for the subdivision. Their goal is to help lessen the Sunrise Division’s crime problem, and to provide youth with proper guidance so that they do not get into trouble with the law.
"Being from that area, I haven't always been the man I am today," said volunteer coach Frank Valdez. He says playing sports at a young age made a difference in his life. Discipline, how to respect authority, how to follow through with a mission, not quitting, having a winning attitude and these kids are deprived of that."
High schoolers Ezra Palmer and Dakari Jackson, who live in the crime-filled division yet stay out of trouble, explained to Fox 29 San Antonio what problems kids their age face in the streets.
"Just stupid stuff, like mostly peer pressure and stealing from the store," said Palmer.
"You got kids trying to join gangs because there's nothing else to do," added Jackson.
Paul Tibbets has spent many years working with kids, and emphasizes how important of a role sports can play in a child’s life.
“You're putting all of you, literally 100% of your time for that experience," Tibbets said. "So when it happens, it means the world."
"We know once these kids are out of school, they're just going to be running around and we don't want that," he added.
Funding their sports programs has not been easy for National Youth Sports. The non-profit organization is struggling to get support from the Sunrise neighborhood’s businesses, and is currently seeking more volunteer coaches. For more information on NYS’s program, click here.
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