Thanks to a $50,000 grant from Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA will now benefit from academic support as part of the new Barclays Spaces for Sports Flag Football Program.
Flag football is a popular version of American Football, involving limited physical contact. Through the flag football league, youth in the neighbourhood will build positive, healthy relationships that will help them develop key skills on and off the field. The YMCA will be able to hire an Academic and Sports Coordinator to bridge the gap between after-school staff and school teachers and administrators, providing the support needed to improve academic performance.
The funding will also enable the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA to accurately measure the impact of pairing a regular sports activity with individualized academic assistance.
A harsh reality is that in Bayview Hunters Point homicide is the leading cause of death for young people. These negative influences, when coupled with the anxiety they may feel from their parents, can create unhealthy and challenging living environments for young people.
A Barclays Spaces for Sports site already exists in the US after the East Side Charter School was opened in 2008 in Wilmington, Delaware, for the benefit of the wider community as well as pupils.
Hannah Willis, Associate Director, Global Community Investment at Barclays said: "We're delighted to be announcing a further project in the United States as part of the global Barclays Spaces for Sports programme. We know from the 200 sites created in the UK and other sites and projects developed as part of the global programme, that sport is a powerful tool to engage young people so that they can then develop their academic and life skills."
A number of young people will benefit from academic support (including tutoring and counselling) and will be connected to after-school academic programs available at the YMCA.
The funding will also allow for expanded outreach and recruitment opportunities with a focus for girls to become more actively involved in the benefits of team sports. Such benefits include team-building, listening, smart decision-making and developing peer leadership skills to build confidence and develop transferable life skills.