Learning to play basketball also teaches sharing and teamwork among teens with special needs

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Consuelo Engel shares her and her son James’ experience as a participant in Backyard Sports Cares PLUS program for teen athletes with special abilities. For more than two years, 18-year-old James has been building his skills on the court while connecting with teammates and volunteer peer mentors. The teen program is an off-shoot of BYSC original PLUS program for kids ages 5 to 14. Catering to adolescents and young adults 15+, the teen program offers a more competitive team option for older special needs players.

consuelo and James engel

“The coaches have great skills. They are inspiring and they hold the kids’ attention so they stay on task. Matching players with other teen volunteers is really beneficial. James loves playing with the “regular” kids and the program has really increased his understanding of teamwork, sharing, and thinking outside of himself.”

— Consuelo Engel

LISTEN to our interview with Consuelo Engel

Passing the Baton: Backyard Sports 2019 Inaugural Red Shirt Ceremony

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Categories Teen Mentors, Red Shirts, volunteer teen mentors

Backyard Sports Cares started with just a few caring people and a vision in 2009 and has grown into what is now an integral part of our community. Serving over 200 children with cognitive challenges, Backyard Sports has been able to give those with limited access to sports programming a safe space to play sports, … Continue reading “Passing the Baton: Backyard Sports 2019 Inaugural Red Shirt Ceremony”

BYSC Peer Mentor Shares Her Experience Volunteering with Special Needs Athletes

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Categories Teen Mentors, Red Shirts, volunteer teen mentors, special needs sportsTags , , ,

Emily Lattman is a senior at Scarsdale High School. When she’s not studying and hanging out with friends, she’s giving back to the community by volunteering her time as a peer mentor for Backyard Sports Cares PLUS program for special needs children. We caught up with Emily after last Sunday’s sports program and she talked … Continue reading “BYSC Peer Mentor Shares Her Experience Volunteering with Special Needs Athletes”

Brothers find connection through BYSC Program for Special Needs Athletes

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Categories Red Shirts, volunteer teen mentors, special needs sports, Soccer, basketball

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 … Continue reading “Brothers find connection through BYSC Program for Special Needs Athletes”