Participating in youth sports helps children stay healthy and improves their chances of success in school and in life. Coaching Corps is working to level the playing field for boys and girls in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color so that more kids can get in the game.
Formerly known as Team-Up for Youth, the organization changed its name in 2012 to reflect its focus on finding and training volunteer coaches to work with children in after-school sports programs throughout California. “Since our beginning, we have witnessed the magic that takes place for kids when a coach uses the thicket of teachable moments that playing sports provides to nourish their healthy development,” Coaching Corps Executive Director Janet Carter wrote in a letter announcing the name change.
The Haas, Jr. Fund, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and several local foundations, launched Coaching Corps in 1999 and has since awarded more than $16 million to the organization. “We want all children to experience the life lessons and teaching moments that come from participating in youth sports and having a caring coach as mentor,” said Haas, Jr. Fund Chair Walter J. Haas, who also serves as chair of Coaching Corps.
To date, Coaching Corps has touched the lives of 19,000 young people throughout the state and trained and placed 1,600 volunteer coaches with the organization’s partner after-school programs. Coaching Corps has been recognized nationally and internationally as a model program for expanding access to high-quality youth sports.
Jenny Zhang has played soccer since first grade, so she was excited when she learned about an opportunity to coach her own team through Coaching Corps. After completing her Coaching Corps training, she was placed as an assistant coach with a co-ed soccer team at Willard Middle School in Berkeley.
“I got so much out of sports, and wanted to give back and get other kids to play sports, too. I wanted to be the coach who boosted kids’ confidence and made them play better.”
For more information visit www.coaching-corps.org.