“All kids deserve a safe place to play, the chance to be physically active and to experience all of the wonderful things about sports,” says Abhi Sharma, Coaching Corps chapter president at Emory University. “Sports and my coaches taught me to never give up and that if you put in the hard work, eventually, it will pay off.”
Through Abhi’s relentless dedication and hard work, the Coaching Corps chapter at Emory University is thriving. Abhi was searching for opportunities to give back when a friend of his told him about this great coaching service organization.
“I volunteered in high school and enjoyed working in the community,” Abhi recalls. “When my friend mentioned Coaching Corps, I was intrigued by the word ‘coaching.’ I love sports. So I looked it up online and then contacted the main office.”
Now, one year later, Abhi has a lot to show for his efforts. The Emory chapter has existed for seven months and to date has filled 30 coaching opportunities with 20 coaches. That means that 330 kids were coached in partnership with the Jones Boys and Girls Clubhouse.
“The chapter has exceeded my expectations. Almost every coach came back, and we even recruited more coaches. We have a solid connection with the Boys and Girls Club now and we have even been able to partner with [Emory] Athletics.”
Through Coaching Corps, Abhi has watched kids become more connected with their coaches, and has seen their experience transcend beyond sports. He recalls a conversation he had with a young player named Ollie. One day Ollie told Abhi that each day he has practice, Ollie runs home as fast as he can to finish his homework so he can spend as much time as possible later in the afternoon on the court with his team.
When asked if he plans to return to Coaching Corps, Abhi responded quickly with, “Absolutely. I can’t believe that is even a question.” He followed up with, “I want to work with the same kids because I am seen as a mentor. The longer I stay connected, the greater the impact [will be] and that is what I am here for.”
Starting a student group on a campus takes work, commitment, passion and most of all … persistence. Abhi has words of advice for those looking to create Coaching Corps chapters on other campuses: “Go into the experience with lots of energy and passion. Allow that energy and passion to show on a daily basis. Before long, others will see what you created and the chapter will grow faster than you ever thought possible.”
To start a Coaching Corps chapter on your campus or in your city, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.