When Coach Amaru (Coach Ru) began coaching sixth graders at an afterschool program in Berkeley, he was a busy college student starting his senior year at UC Berkeley. Even so, he made time to coach two seasons of basketball and track and field – showing his players the fundamentals of the game – and the importance of being responsible to themselves and their team.

“With Coaching Corps, everybody wins. I got to get back into sports, and build connections with kids in my community. The kids got a chance to play and the afterschool partner got to run a strong and essential program for the youth. Throughout each season, I watched these amazing young people learn skills, the value of hard work – and what it means to be a team.”

Coach Amaru shared some memorable experiences with his players, like taking them to the Warriors training facility in Oakland. He also made sure each kid felt special. At the Spring Awards Banquet, Coach Ru took time to honor every member of his team, rather than singling out just a few.

Not only did he impact the lives of lots of kids, his life changed too.

“This was one of the best experiences of my life,” he says. “I will continue coaching whether it becomes a career or I volunteer. I’ll be a coach for the rest of my life.”

Coach Ru is one of more than 1,600 passionate, trained Coaching Corps coaches working in low-income communities across the state. Their efforts have helped us get nearly 50,000 kids into the game and strengthen over 150 afterschool programs.

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