Brothers find connection through BYSC Program for Special Needs Athletes

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james and kyle fitzpatrick.cropped.
Pictured from left: James Fitzpatrick with brother, Kyle Fitzpatrick

James Fitzpatrick, former BYSC teen mentor and “Red Shirt” alum, comes back to visit PLUS program athletes, including his brother Kyle.

We chatted with James Fitzpatrick this past weekend when he came to pick up brother, Kyle, from our Sunday program for special needs athletes. Now a Geometry and Spanish teacher at Iona Prep, James reminisces about his days as a teen mentor.

“Kyle was involved in the program as an athlete a couple of years before I came on board as a teen mentor,” says James. “I attended Iona Prep High School and service was a big part of our requirements. It was a natural fit for me to volunteer for Backyard Sports Cares since my brother was in the program and I felt comfortable working with special needs athletes.”

“Working with kids was something I always seemed to lean toward and participating as a teen mentor with Backyard Sports gave me the experience that helped solidify my career goal to teach.”

Kyle, now 21, says having his big brother around was a great experience, and after participating in the PLUS program for more than 10 years, he still loves it — especially playing basketball with his friends.

 

 

Special needs peer mentor shares why he’s been a BYSC teen volunteer for 3 years

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It’s funny how the universe — and moms — seem to surface just what we need before we know we need it. Backyard Sports Cares volunteer peer mentor, Alec Greenwald, talks to us about his surprising experience working with special needs children and teens participating in BYSC Plus Program. WATCH our interview with BYSC teen … Continue reading “Special needs peer mentor shares why he’s been a BYSC teen volunteer for 3 years”

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Dr. Christina tells why sports are important for all kids — And role modeling is key!

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PM Pediatrics has been a community partner to Backyard Sports Cares for a number of years. Their contribution to the welfare of children and adolescent health and wellness in Westchester is matched by their time, commitment and generosity in helping foster the sports activity programs we provide to at-risk and special needs kids. We talked … Continue reading “Dr. Christina tells why sports are important for all kids — And role modeling is key!”

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 … Continue reading “Bridging cultural differences through sport: Visiting UK coaches introduce rugby and cricket to Westchester grade schoolers”

Backyard Sports+ Special Needs Athletes Play GaGa at SUNY Purchase

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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”

Backyard Sports Cares Brings Special Needs Sports Programming to New England

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  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 Plus Teen Basketball League Gets Going!

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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!”

BYS Named Family Favorite Again by Westchester Family Magazine

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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”

BYSC PLUS Programs Open with a Slam Dunk!

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October 4th marked the opening day of Backyard Sports Cares award-winning PLUS program for athletes with special needs.  This fall, BYSC is continuing a new program set up for our growing teen population. Integrated teams comprised of nearly 20 teen boys from the Westchester County area and more than 10 volunteer high school peer mentors scrimmaged against each other … Continue reading “BYSC PLUS Programs Open with a Slam Dunk!”

Backyard Sports Celebrates 1st Family BBQ Open House

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On September 27th, Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC) played coach and host to more than 35 families at the organization’s first BBQ “Open House”. Hosted at the Saxon Woods Golf Course in Scarsdale, NY, the event served to educate Westchester families about volunteer and funding opportunities available through BYSC.  And, more importantly, about 100 moms, dads and … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Celebrates 1st Family BBQ Open House”

Westchester Family Magazine Recognizes Backyard Sports

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Backyard Sports’ programming for children with special needs has been named a 2015 Top 5 Family Favorite by Westchester Family Magazine Readers of Westchester Family Magazine were asked to name their Family Favorites across 37 categories. Thousands of parents weighed in and Backyard Sports was honored as a Top 5 Favorite in the category of … Continue reading “Westchester Family Magazine Recognizes Backyard Sports”

Annual 3-on-3 Tournament Connects Kids & Community Through Sports

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A great day was had by all at our 3rd annual 3-on-3 Tournament held on April 19th at Purchase College. Captured here is one of the many highlights that exemplify the spirit of our organization, which seeks to connect the community and our children through the joy of sports. Watch the video to see how … Continue reading “Annual 3-on-3 Tournament Connects Kids & Community Through Sports”