Los Angeles Leaders Take on the Sports Gap

Leading the Way Forward for Los Angeles Kids

Youth sports in Los Angeles are at a crossroads. While some families are spending thousands of dollars a year on travel teams and the latest equipment, the nearly 400,000 children in Los Angeles who are living at or below the poverty line often lack opportunities to play sports.

In March, Coaching Corps brought together thought leaders from the Los Angeles business, political, professional sports, and nonprofit communities for a powerful dialogue on combating that inequality.

Hosted by Coaching Corps Board Member Jamie Halper, and moderated by author Linda Flanagan, these leaders had a frank discussion about the current situation.

Too many kids are missing out on the impact a coach and mentor can have. Serena Limas, the 2018 Coaching Corps Coach of the Year and a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Ramona Gardens, said that the difference in her players since she started coaching is huge. “I look at one of my players, April, the only girl. She used to be timid and afraid to play with the boys. Now she’s challenging – and beating – the boys all the time. She’s gained confidence from that, and is doing better in school, and now the other girls look up to her.”

Despite the challenges we face as a community, the energy and enthusiasm in the room showed that these are challenges being met head on. “You can see the kids are having a coach has, even after just one season these kids are different. If we can bring that to more kids across Los Angeles, it will have such a profound impact” said Chris Fajardo, Director of Regional Operations for Coaching Corps.

Coaching Corps is excited join forces with the leaders of Los Angeles to make sure that every child in the city, no matter where they are from, has access to sports with a trained and caring coach.

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