By Arden Franklyn
Every Thursday, for 90-minutes, Rita, BYSC’s Tennis Coach, leads a group of 10 kids from Ridgeway Elementary through various energizing drills that are focused on the fundamentals of tennis. But the drills themselves aren’t the only reason why improvement has been evident among these young players. Before rackets or balls take to the air, Coach Rita checks in with the kids about their day as they await the arrival of their fellow players.
Once everyone arrives, Coach Rita splits the group into three lines and they practice their hand placement on rackets before shadowing her in forehand and backhand movements. The technique was taught without using balls, so the children used their imagination as they copied the Coach step by step. Then they actually had to hit the ball, using their forehand or backhand. I would like to give extra credit to Coach Rita because not only was she informative, but she showed considerable patience and instilled confidence in the players who were struggling.
Continuing to highlight their newly minted skills, the remainder of Thursday’s program was spent playing games that included a mixture of dodgeball and “Capture the Flag”. With Rita throwing the balls in different directions, each player had to move and hit the ball with a forehand or backhand. If they hit it out of bounds or before the net, they were given a “jail” card and had to wait on the other side of the gym in hopes of catching a fly ball, thereby gaining their freedom. Laughter was contagious at Ridgeway, as the kids learned the sport of tennis and had lots of fun along the way.
The Ridgeway Elementary Afterschool Tennis Program is part of a larger collaboration between Backyard Sports, the White Plains Youth Bureau, and the USTA, which brings introductory tennis to over 400 White Plains students as part of their Afterschool Connections program.
Please join us for our first Backyard Benefit on April 27th and support
athletic programs that make sports accessible to all kids. #Sports4Everyone
Last Sunday, Backyard Sports Cares visited the Coachman Family Center to brighten spirits of homeless children through sports and play. Based in White Plains, the Coachman Center is home to more than a dozen families in need of shelter due to various and unfortunate circumstances. Although the families live at the center in White Plains, the … Continue reading “BYSC Celebrates February Birthdays with Coachman Family Center Kids”
By Arden Franklyn Whether your child swims for sport, exercise or fun, nothing quite compares to the feeling of weightlessness and freedom that swimming offers. I recently caught up with Colleen Ferguson, SUNY Purchase Swim Captain and lead coach for Backyard Sports Cares’ afterschool swim program for the Slater Center. Every Tuesday, Coach Colleen instructs … Continue reading “Just Keep Swimming!”
By Arden Franklyn Water + Kids = Fun — That was the winning formula last Tuesday at Backyard Sports Cares’ weekly afterschool swim program for Thomas H. Slater Center children. Hosted at the SUNY Purchase pool and led by Swim Team Captain, Colleen Ferguson, the program brings the fundamentals of swimming to seven to ten-year-olds with limited … Continue reading “BYSC Afterschool Swim: A Day in the Pool with Slater Center Youngsters”
BYSC will Use Award to Support the Organization’s Soccer League in 2017 On January 18, 2017, Danny Bernstein, executive director, Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC) and Linda Breton of BYSC, attended a reception at the Journal News office in White Plains for recipients of grant funding from the Gannett Foundation. Backyard Sports Cares was one of … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Cares Receives Gannett Foundation Grant”
Pediatric Urgent Care Provider to Help Sponsor Afterschool Recreational Programming at Mt. Vernon Elementary Schools Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing high quality sports programming to young athletes with limited access to community programs, announced today a strategic partnership with PM Pediatrics, one of the nation’s largest providers of specialized … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Cares Announces Sponsorship Alliance with PM Pediatrics”
This fall, Backyard Sports Cares launched its first soccer program for kids with Special Needs in Weston, CT. In collaboration with the Weston, CT, Parks & Recreation Department, the program has gotten off to a great start with enthusiastic volunteers from Weston High School helping to teach young athletes soccer skills, while having lots … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Cares Brings Special Needs Sports Programming to New England”
Backyard Sports Cares is excited to announce a new partnership with Tennis Innovators of White Plains and the White Plains Youth Bureau, which brings tennis instruction to an enthusiastic group of deserving youngsters. Special thanks to Sandy Hoffman of the USTA who helped BYSC and Tennis Innovators come together on this special project. Cesar Andrade … Continue reading “BYSC partners with Tennis Innovators & White Plains Youth Bureau to bring tennis to deserving youngsters”
Thanks to our teen coaches and players for a successful start to the Backyard Sports Plus Teen Basketball League. Coach Vin Minotti led the group in clinical instruction followed by inclusive competitive basketball games for the squad. We meet Sunday mornings at 10am at the main gym at Purchase College for all interested teen players and … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Plus Teen Basketball League Gets Going!”
For the fourth year in a row, Backyard Sports Cares hosted a group of kids from Mt. Vernon’s NewFlex Youth Program at Brant Lake Camp for a weekend of fun camp experiences and activities. It was another fabulous camp experience for the NewFlex Youth Program kids who participated in lots of activities and made new … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Brings NewFlex Youths to Brant Lake”
Guest post by BYSC teen volunteer: Max Bunzel Teaching golf to the kids at the White Plains Youth Bureau Bits and Pieces Day Camp has been an amazing experience for Scott Galst and me. We have seen many kids go from zero exposure to golf to playing and improving every week. We taught kindergarten, 1st, … Continue reading “BYS Teen Volunteers Teach Golf at Bits and Pieces Day Camp”
For a second consecutive year, Westchester Family Magazine names Backyard Sports among the publication’s Top 5 Family Favorites for “Special Needs Recreation Programs.” As part of its annual Family Favorites Awards, Westchester Family Magazine surveys thousands of parents to find out who their (and their children’s) favorite service providers are across 47 categories. “We are … Continue reading “BYS Named Family Favorite Again by Westchester Family Magazine”
For the past three months, Backyard Sports Cares volunteers and Scarsdale High School Varsity Cheerleaders, Madison Doyle, Ariel Stonberg, Talia Abbe and Isobel Lloyd, have been visiting and working with young girls at Edward Williams Elementary School in Mount Vernon. Last week, the fruits of their labor came to the stage. Edward Williams Elementary students, … Continue reading “Cheerleaders give performance pointers to Edward Williams Elementary schoolgirls”
For the second year in a row, Backyard Sports Cares collaborated with Foundation for Life to give deserving kids one of the most basic staples of childhood, a bicycle. We presented a soccer clinic and distributed bicycles to 20 youngsters from the Coachmen Center in White Plains, NY. Assisting the efforts were Backyard Sports volunteers, Harrison … Continue reading “A Bounty of Bicycles Give Kids Something to Smile About”
This past weekend our Backyard Sports Plus Special Need athletes and coaches were treated to an indoor session of GaGa at Purchase College. The GaGa pits were provided courtesy of Scott Blumberg and Talon Athletics, a local GaGa activity provider and manufacturer of GaGa specialty equipment. The players received progressive skill instruction, including striking a … Continue reading “Backyard Sports+ Special Needs Athletes Play GaGa at SUNY Purchase”