In partnership with Group1001, last week the Ripken Foundation hosted a one-day clinic at North Salinas High School in Salinas, California. Hartnell College Track & Field and former U.S. Olympians Mark Crear and Sharrieffa Barksdale were on hand to lead the multi-sport clinic with over 70 kids from nearby Salinas Elementary and Henry F. Kammann Elementary.
The day of fun was kicked off in style with Under Armour providing brand new t-shirts for all the kids. Following a brief introduction, kids were broken into small groups and split up into athletic stations consisting of dodgeball, track & field, and soccer. During each station kids were given the opportunity to learn new skills, interact with mentors, and be active with their peers in a positive way. At the conclusion of our athletic stations, youth enjoyed a presentation led by Olympians, Crear, and Barksdale. Finally at the end of the long day, kids were fed a healthy meal, and left the clinic tired, happy, and with a full stomach.
These one-day clinics are really uplifting to observe. They give you an opportunity to see kids enjoying the outdoors and being active together. Our goal is to show kids a healthy alternative to the challenges they may face in school or at home. Participating in afterschool activities and youth sports has been proven to lower crime rates, improve grades, and decrease teen incarceration rates.
As an organization, we strive to help youth develop good habits and make positive life choices. These clinics are just one of the ways we go about connecting with underserved youth. If you’d like to learn more about what we offer, continue to follow my blog every Wednesday, and see how our programs, parks, and events are changing the lives of millions of at-risk youth across the country.