BAWCC was approached in 2002 by a group of local and national funders and asked if we would consider becoming the lead agency for a sports initiative for children and youth in the Tenderloin. Once we connected with Coach John Wooden (legendary UCLA basketball coach) and became familiar with his character education work through his Pyramid of Success, we agreed to start a neighborhood-wide program. We called it the Tenderloin Youth Sports Initiative (TYSI).
Since we started, we have provided organized sports experiences for nearly 370 children and youth every month. Since we started, we have sponsored a: Youth Basketball League, Bowling League at Yerba Buena Bowling Center, Flag Football League, Dance Classes (Ballet with SF Ballet, Hip Hop, West African, and Hawaiian) and Volleyball.
At the moment these programs are on hold, although ice-skating continues.
In 2002, BAWCC approached the director of the Skating School at Yerba Buena Ice Skating Center and asked if they would consider a partnership with us so that Tenderloin children and youth could take skating lessons in their classes. They said “Yes!”, and since then, we have had more than 140 Tenderloin youngsters who have worked their way up the ice skating levels. Eight of our Tenderloin ice skaters have gone on to participate in Bay Area skating competitions. One young skater, Dinh Tran, has won more than 40 gold medals in Bay Area and national ice skating competitions. Dinh has now won a silver medal at Nationals, and has his eye on the Olympics. Coaches at the skating center have said they would not be at all surprised if Dinh made it all the way!