• Backyard Sports Cares Blog



  • A sponsor’s perspective on why you should participate in the BYSC 3 vs. 3 Basketball Tournament

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    With one month to go before our big 3 vs. 3 Basketball Tournament, we wanted to help demystify the event while paying homage to some of our loyal sponsors who continue to support us and the recreation programs that we bring to disadvantaged Westchester kids and to those with special needs. One of our long-time sponsors is Denise Koslowsky, principal of Advocate Brokerage, which is based in Scarsdale, NY.

    LISTEN to our interview with Denise Koslowsky, principal, Advocate Brokerage

    BYSC: For folks who don’t know about Advocate Brokerage and what you do, can you give us an overview?

    Denise K.:  Sure. We are a property and casualty insurance company and we are home-based in Scarsdale where we were founded. So we serve the tri-state area, but because we’re born and bred, I’m literally born and bred in Scarsdale, we do a lot to support the local community. Our primary client base is basically within a 150-mile radius of Scarsdale, NY. But mostly Westchester is our backyard and we do whatever we can to support our county.

    BYSC:  You have been involved with Backyard Sports Cares for some time now. I’d like to dive a little deeper into your mission and how it dovetails with Backyard Sports Cares, as it relates to helping Westchester children and bringing sports programming to those who can’t afford it or are challenged by a disability.

    Denise K.:  Well, Danny ingratiated himself to us from the very beginning. I believe my son was in his very first soccer group even before Backyard Sports Cares came to be. His approach to youth sports, which is to deemphasize the competitive aspect and prioritize on fun, skills, and character building, was wonderful and sort of grabbed us from that point on.

    Then, I would say we all evolved and grew up together. My son did his mitzvah project with Danny and, of course, he stayed with it and continued to volunteer with Backyard Sports Cares. But the reason that BYSC aligned so much with what we do is Danny just embraced bringing on every family and kid who wanted to help and then connected them with kids in need. Some had special needs or some were at-risk kids. Whatever the connection, he just has this gift of putting people together to improve lives of others and I just love that mission.

    We’ve done a lot of that in our personal life. We were very involved with the Greyston Foundation. That was a similar kind of setup where you helped one individual at a time improve their life. So, multiplying that number and seeing five or 10 kids that you personally know go through a life-changing experience, that’s a big deal. We just love what BYSC does.

    BYSC: There are a lot of folks out there that maybe can’t wrap their heads around what the 3 vs. 3 event is. If you were going to send a message to those dads out there, what would you say to them? Why is it a good idea for them to sign up and play?

    Denise K.: Well, this is another event that I’ve watched grow up over the years. The 3 vs. 3 Basketball Tournament has always been an amazing day no matter how you slice it.

    But now, I think that it’s more about the groups that it’s serving and less about people worrying that it’s going to be a competitive day of sports. I think that it’s just a fun way for people to come out and break a sweat and do something good and fun and meet and greet everybody they’re helping. It’s just going to be an amazing day.

     

    Young men from Youth Shelter Program of Westchester join BYSC for a weekend at Brant Lake Camp

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    Categories At risk youth, under-served communities, summer campTags ,

    Earlier this month, Backyard Sports Cares coordinated an extended weekend to Brant Lake Camp in the Adirondacks for 12 teen residents from the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester. For many of these at-risk young men, it was their first time officially camping, and for others, it was their first foray out of an urban environment and into … Continue reading “Young men from Youth Shelter Program of Westchester join BYSC for a weekend at Brant Lake Camp”

    The guru behind the GAGA ball — And BYSC’s Mission GAGA 2018

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    Categories Volunteers, afterschool programs, GaGa programTags , , ,

    When you hear the name Talon Athletics, the sport of GaGa may not spring to mind, but it should. Based on an inspiration by Scott Blumberg and Will Perez more than five years ago, Talon Athletics has grown into the largest supplier of GaGa Pits, protective gloves, as well as the premier host of GaGa … Continue reading “The guru behind the GAGA ball — And BYSC’s Mission GAGA 2018”

    Youth Soccer Participation has Fallen Sharply — Cost of Entry Among Principle Causes

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    Categories afterschool programs, inclusive sports, Soccer, under-served communitiesTags

    This past week, the New York Times published a story about the decline in youth soccer participation in the US. According to the report, over the past three years, the percentage of 6- to 12-year-olds playing soccer regularly has dropped nearly 14 percent, to 2.3 million players. The number of children who touched a soccer … Continue reading “Youth Soccer Participation has Fallen Sharply — Cost of Entry Among Principle Causes”

    Bridging cultural differences through sport: Visiting UK coaches introduce rugby and cricket to Westchester grade schoolers

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    Categories afterschool programs, inclusive sports, special needs sportsTags

    Backyard Sports Cares “guest counselors”, Rhodrey Dafydd and Tom Finnigan of the United Kingdom, recently spent the month of May participating in our afterschool and special needs programs.  They led early morning and recess rugby and cricket programs to elementary school students in White Plains and New Rochelle. They also assisted in a physical education … Continue reading “Bridging cultural differences through sport: Visiting UK coaches introduce rugby and cricket to Westchester grade schoolers”

    100 kids celebrate victories and teamwork on final Saturday of BYSC White Plains Basketball League

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    Categories basketball, under-served communitiesTags , , , , ,

    Last January, with generous support from Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC) partner, Advocate Brokerage of Scarsdale, BYSC kicked off the organization’s first basketball league in White Plains. Approximately 100 fourth and fifth-graders from five local elementary schools participated in the league, which culminated in a jamboree finale on March 23rd, 2018 at SUNY Purchase. Participating schools … Continue reading “100 kids celebrate victories and teamwork on final Saturday of BYSC White Plains Basketball League”

    #MissionGaGa takes flight at Mt. Vernon Boys & Girls Club

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    Categories afterschool programs, under-served communities, GaGa programTags ,

    As part of Backyard Sports Cares’ Mission: Gaga 2018 initiative, BYSC, in conjunction with host families, will be donating a portable gaga pit to the Boys and Girls Club so they can enjoy the game all year-round. To get the kids formally introduced to gaga action, Backyard Sports Cares hosted a Gaga Day on Thursday, January … Continue reading “#MissionGaGa takes flight at Mt. Vernon Boys & Girls Club”

    BYSC Joins Foundation for Life for Annual Surprise “Bike Day” Giveaway

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    Categories under-served communitiesTags , ,

    Bike Day gives gift of first bicycle to dozens of Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club kids  Beaming faces and squeals of joy and amazement could be seen and heard from across lower Westchester County last Saturday, June 9th. It’s no wonder when dozens of children from the Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club received brand … Continue reading “BYSC Joins Foundation for Life for Annual Surprise “Bike Day” Giveaway”

    Discussing racial diversity: BYSC student leaders, Iona Prep students and White Plains Youth Bureau talk about race relations

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    Categories under-served communitiesTags

    “This was a great experience and it felt great knowing that I was doing something to help make a change.  I really got a lot out of it, and can’t wait for the next dinner.” — Jake Meyrowitz, BYSC Student Leader On January 22, 2018,  Backyard Sports Cares and the White Plains Youth Bureau initiated … Continue reading “Discussing racial diversity: BYSC student leaders, Iona Prep students and White Plains Youth Bureau talk about race relations”

    Productive Discussion: BYSC brings local at-risk youths together with role models from the Westchester Knicks

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    Categories afterschool programs, basketball, At risk youth, under-served communitiesTags

    How do you get at-risk youths in crisis to open up and take some hard-won advice? If you’re Backyard Sports Cares, the answer is pizza…and a few local heroes from the Westchester Knicks! This past week, Danny Bernstein, executive director, Backyard Sports Cares, decided to add a unique dimension to the recreational programming that the … Continue reading “Productive Discussion: BYSC brings local at-risk youths together with role models from the Westchester Knicks”

    GaGa Plays Key Role in Ambitious Mission for Spring 2018

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    Categories At risk youth, under-served communities, GaGa programTags ,

    Volunteers and Vested Supporters are Invited to Join this Important Initiative with Backyard Sports Cares Backyard Sports Cares is embarking on an ambitious mission to bring kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds in Westchester together — and GaGa is the lynchpin. Last week, BYSC Executive Director, Danny Bernstein, hosted a kickoff conference with BYSC’s stakeholders and … Continue reading “GaGa Plays Key Role in Ambitious Mission for Spring 2018”

    Backyard Sports Features GaGa Event as Part of Special Needs Basketball League

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    Categories Soccer, basketballTags , ,

    Backyard Sports Cares Fall Basketball League for athletes with special needs has exceeded expectations this year. In conjunction with our Basketball program, we featured a GaGa special event that got our kids moving and exposed to non-traditional sports. Check out our video to take part in the action and hear from our awesome teen coaches, Audrey … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Features GaGa Event as Part of Special Needs Basketball League”