• Backyard Sports Cares Blog



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

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    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 (PE) program for residents of the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester.  Here is a reflection of their experience.

    By Rhodrey Dafydd

    When Danny Bernstein talked about having us work for BYSC nine months ago, Tom Finnigan and I were interested in the opportunity from the moment he mentioned the idea. After further conversations during the holiday season in Edinburgh, we rang in the new year and got the ball rolling on this adventure. As winter turned to spring, and spring very quickly turned to summer, our bags were packed and it was time to head to the USA. We landed on Sunday evening and after filling our bellies with a typical XXL American burger, we found ourselves pumping up Rugby balls in the living room ready to start work at 7am the next morning.

    Coaching rugby, a virtually unknown sport amongst children in the US, was a challenge we were ready for. The following morning, adorned in our new Backyard Sports staff shirts, we set out to introduce rugby to approximately 120 children in Church Street School, White Plains. The first session went by in an instant, and with help from Coach Danny we achieved what we set out to do. We had kids running around passing a Rugby ball with beaming smiles on their face and having fun. Over the next three weeks we travelled all over the Westchester area working in many schools in White Plains, Mt. Vernon and New Rochelle.

    Having the opportunity to work for BYSC and coach rugby, a sport that many Americans are unaware of, was a great experience that Tom and I will cherish for a very long time. No matter your age, cultural ethnicity, income level or language, sports breaks down barriers and serves as an excellent tool to build relationships among diverse peer groups.

    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”

    WVOX-AM “Wartburg Cares” Radio Show Features Backyard Sports Cares

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    Categories Backyard Sports Cares, inclusive sports, At risk youth

      On September 20, 2017, Backyard Sports was given the incredible opportunity to co-host a local radio show through WVOX and Wartburg Cares Radio. Produced by Angela Ciminello, Vice President of Development and Marketing at the Wartburg Adult Care Community in Mount Vernon, Backyard Sports Cares Executive Director, Danny Bernstein and Dillon Faulkner, were able … Continue reading “WVOX-AM “Wartburg Cares” Radio Show Features Backyard Sports Cares”

    Backyard Sports/Bits and Pieces Summer Field Day

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    Categories summer campTags

    Once again Backyard Sports and the White Plains Youth Bureau collaborated to provide a Summer Field Day for nearly 200 youngsters who are part of the Bureau’s Bits and Pieces Camp.  Activities included soccer, gaga, basketball, project adventure, golf, and a tug of war.  Assisting with the program were Scarsdale high school students, Josh Wasserman, … Continue reading “Backyard Sports/Bits and Pieces Summer Field Day”

    Backyard Sports Cares brings evening lacrosse program to Youth Shelter of Westchester

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    Teenage residents of the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, an alternative to incarceration program located in Mt. Vernon, participated in an early evening lacrosse program led by BYSC volunteers, Dylan Cannell and Daniel Jaffe of Scarsdale. The teen leaders, both students and varsity players at the Masters School, led their teen teammates in a variety … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Cares brings evening lacrosse program to Youth Shelter of Westchester”

    Backyard Sports & Foundations for Life Bring “Bike Day” Giveaway to White Plains Youngsters

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    Categories under-served communitiesTags

          Once again, Backyard Sports in connection with Foundations for Life presented 25 White Plains youngsters with a brand new bicycle at the organization’s annual “Bike Day” event.  Temple Kol Ami of White Plains provided the facility space. Led by volunteers from Foundations for Life and the Backyard Sports Cares Junior Board, the … Continue reading “Backyard Sports & Foundations for Life Bring “Bike Day” Giveaway to White Plains Youngsters”