BYSC executive director announces Next Generation Campaign to lead organization into the future

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LISTEN to our podcast interview with Danny Bernstein, executive director, BYSC

When Backyard Sports Cares launched in 2009, we knew we were doing something special. There was a void for many parents in the Westchester Community who were seeking either affordable sports programming for their typical child or programs that were accommodating to their child or teen with physical or developmental challenges.

Now, 10 years later, through the support of hundreds of Westchester community families and private sector partners, we have been able to serve more than 2,500 youngsters and teens annually who have had little to no access to organized team sports.

Melvin Campos, Boys & Girls Club

“Danny Bernstein and Backyard Sports Cares are very important and valued partners of the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon. Their sports programming is integral to our Youth Development Strategy. Backyard Sports works with us to provide opportunities for youth in non-traditional sports. The BYSC Team is professional and engaging and offers our kids a chance to participate enthusiastically in sports that would typically be out of reach.” — Melvin Campos, chief professional officer, Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon

BYSC’s programs have proven to help fill a significant gap in our community, while also bringing together athletes and families with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, physical abilities, and cultural traditions. In order to sustain our purpose now and into the future, it is time to invest in a new generation of organizational leadership.

next generation fund

Through our Next Generation Fundraising Campaign, our goal is to raise $500,000, which will be used to recruit outstanding talent. Our immediate priority is to retain professionals to fill three key positions: Associate Executive Director, Development Director and Program Leader. In the future, we hope to build a comprehensive development team and add even more professional coaches and program leaders. These will be talented, passionate individuals who will not only lead sports, but carry our culture into the next generation of Backyard Sports Cares.

The meaningful donations of our supporters will ensure that Backyard Sports Cares raises the capital required to recruit and retain an extensive leadership staff who will anchor our team for the next decade and beyond.

next gen budget

We are committed to cultivating and educating those professionals who will lead our organization into the future.  We must hire and source program and organizational leaders who share our passion and commitment to youth based sports development. Our legacy, our connection to the future begins with this endeavor.

Please help us to continue to provide high-quality youth sports programming and unique socialization opportunities, that include:

  1. Giving 200 cognitively challenged children a safe space to enjoy sports and play
  2. Providing 400 under-resourced elementary school children their first opportunity to play in an organized soccer and basketball league for their schools and organizations with trained coaches, new equipment, and their very first uniform.
  3. Introducing 500 children without access or funds to their first tennis experience.
  4. Bringing physical education and recreational experiences such as yoga, skiing, hiking, and rugby to 20 teens in an alternative to incarceration residence in Mt. Vernon.
  5. Creating an event-based platform for socialization, geared to teens and young adults with special needs.
  6. Providing volunteer peer mentoring opportunities for hundreds of high school students to work with special needs and disadvantaged children.
  7. Providing over 100 coaches the opportunity to serve their community in a uniquely meaningful environment.

From all of us at Backyard Sports Cares, thank you for your support and generosity.

Gannett Grant Fever Simmers as BYSC Earns Finalist Standing for $25K award

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Categories afterschool programs, inclusive sports, Soccer, basketball, under-served communities

Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC) has earned finalist status to potentially win Gannett Media’s A Community Thrives grant. To qualify as a grant finalist, BYSC had to raise $3,000 via a Crowdrise Campaign. The organization has exceeded that goal by raising more than $4,000 in three weeks — four days in advance of the campaign cutoff. … Continue reading “Gannett Grant Fever Simmers as BYSC Earns Finalist Standing for $25K award”

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”

#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”

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”

Backyard Sports Cares Leads Art Appreciation Program at Yonkers DaySpring Center

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Following successful programs with the White Plains Youth Bureau and the Mary Blige Center, Penny Bauersfeld of Scarsdale recently completed a six-week “Learning to Look” art appreciation program with 12 elementary school-aged children from the Day Spring Center in Yonkers. The program includes five weeks of afterschool study of various periods and artists.  Children learn … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Cares Leads Art Appreciation Program at Yonkers DaySpring Center”

Game, Set and Match! — An Interview with BYSC Tennis Coach Rita

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Categories afterschool programs, under-served communities, tennis

By Arden Franklyn Although some believe tennis is an exclusive sport, it’s actually largely recognized around the world as a mainstream activity that can be played by virtually anyone.  I recently caught up with Coach Rita, who leads the Backyard Sports Cares’ afterschool tennis program every Thursday at Ridgeway Elementary. The veteran tennis coach typically … Continue reading “Game, Set and Match! — An Interview with BYSC Tennis Coach Rita”

BYSC Tennis Program Flourishes at Ridgeway Elementary

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Categories afterschool programs, tennisTags

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 … Continue reading “BYSC Tennis Program Flourishes at Ridgeway Elementary”

Just Keep Swimming!

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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!”

BYSC Afterschool Swim: A Day in the Pool with Slater Center Youngsters

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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”

Backyard Sports Cares Announces Sponsorship Alliance with PM Pediatrics

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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”