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 volunteer and peer mentor, Alec Greenwald

“One of my friends who’s also a “Red Shirt” had been volunteering with BYSC for one season. His mom got together with my mom and told her how great the program was and that she should check it out. So, in truth, I didn’t find my way here by choice. My mom enthusiastically suggested it, but what came after that is what really counts, because my experiences with the kids are what made me stay.”

“Sometimes there are really hard days, where all the player wants to do is run away from you or not kick the soccer ball. I’ve learned that those days, despite the challenge, offer the greatest reward. Knowing what you did for that kid at the end — watching them finally kick the ball, watching as they go back to their parents with a smile on their face…even the smile on their parents’ faces, is just incredible.” — Alec Greenwald, Scarsdale High School Senior, and BYSC “Red Shirt” volunteer

red shirt volunteer 2018*BYSC Red Shirt volunteers are generally experienced high school seniors who have been with the Backyard Sports Cares teen volunteer/peer mentor program for more than one year. As such, they take on greater responsibility in their role as peer mentors to the disadvantaged or special needs kids and teens that they work with.

How Charles DeFrancesco’s Special Needs Son Inspired Him to Launch Fit 4 Fun

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Categories inclusive sports, special needs sportsTags , ,

Charles DeFrancesco Aims to Forge a Fitness Path for All Abilities Backyard Sports Cares caught up with Charles DeFrancesco, a certified personal trainer and owner of the Arena,  a personal training facility located in White Plains. Charles recently launched a new program called Fit 4 Fun to provide kids with special needs a place to go … Continue reading “How Charles DeFrancesco’s Special Needs Son Inspired Him to Launch Fit 4 Fun”

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

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Categories 3 on 3, special needs sports, At risk youth, under-served communities, fundraisingTags ,

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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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”

Backyard Sports+ Special Needs Athletes Play GaGa at SUNY Purchase

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Categories inclusive sports, special needs sportsTags

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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Categories inclusive sports, special needs sports

  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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Categories inclusive sports, special needs sports, basketballTags ,

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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Categories special needs sportsTags ,

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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Categories special needs sports, basketballTags ,

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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Categories Backyard Sports Cares, Volunteers, BYSC Cares, special needs sports, under-served communitiesTags ,

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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Categories special needs sportsTags

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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Categories 3 on 3, special needs sportsTags

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”