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Using Sport For Social Change

by St. John Community Foundation
Using Sport For Social Change
Using Sport For Social Change
Using Sport For Social Change
Using Sport For Social Change
Using Sport For Social Change

2011 JUST PLAY to be held October 10th!

Using Sports for Social Change is celebrating it’s 3rd year anniversary. Over the past three years, USFSC has sent over 900 basketballs, footballs and Soccer balls to St. John, helped local sports programs, took seven USVI youth and their chaperones to the Tortola Surf Classic as well as held two very successful “Just Play!” events. The 3rd annual “Just Play!” event is in the planning stages now! We are looking forward to another wonderful day of sports for the youth and community of the Virgin Islands.

USFSC has been working on two new programs: a surf camp and a swim camp for St. John youth.

JUST SURF...

St. John, the smallest of the US Virgin Islands, is one of the most beautiful vacation destinations within the USA. Tourism is the primary economic activity, accounting for more than 70% of GDP and 70% of employment. The islands normally host 2 million visitors a year. Non violent petty theft is on the rise, but violent crime is becoming more prevalent as well. Kids of the USVI need something to do in order to sway them from becoming a statistic. While there are a few sports programs in place on the island, not all youth enjoy the few sports that are available to them.

That’s why we believe that surfing can improve the lives of VI youth. As one youth surfer stated in a surf essay contest about surfing: “With too much time on their hands, people get bored and usually resort to making bad decisions in an attempt to stimulate their minds. Whether it’s joining gangs or doing drugs many people (especially kids) in the VI unfortunately go down these roads in a battle to be noticed by others. Surfing can benefit the community by creating a fun hobby for people to enjoy... focusing on progression in a sport, rather than drugs and alcohol.”

Using Sport For Social Change would like to hold a FREE weekend long surf session at one of the more surf friendly beaches on St. John. While the waves are very small, it would still provide the opportunity for VI youth and adults to learn how to surf in a safe, non threatening environment. By holding this weekend long surf clinic, it would bring families together and get kids off the streets and into a physically demanding sport.

As another surf essay contest winner wrote: “...surfing can help keep youth out of trouble and off the streets. By being an individualistic sport, surfing can teach youths to be self relying. It also builds inner strength, when you are out by yourself you don’t have anyone to rely on but yourself.”

JUST SWIM...

It is said that over 30% of West Indian people living in the US Virgin Islands do not know how to swim. It is hard to believe since the Virgin Islands are surrounded by some of the most beautiful clear blue waters in the world. Generation after generation, Virgin Islanders have handed down many wonderful family traditions to their young. However, this same culture and traditions also plays a large part in children and adults not knowing how to swim.

Using Sport For Social Change would like to hold a FREE weekend long swim clinic on St. John, USVI. This yearly clinic would introduce children and adults to water safety, beginner swimming and water play. Dean Doeling, the founder of USFSC, is envisioning a FREE beach play day where the participants are introduced to the water gradually, while playing fun beach sports like football catch and Frisbee toss as well as playing with water toys such as swim noodles and inner tubes. The participants would learn about water safety in a “Hands on” and non threatening environment. All at no cost to the participant. "It is my hope that this will begin to break down the fear of water and bring families together in a way that they may not have been able to before." says Doeling, and the entire St. John community is behind those sentiments!

Thank you for your interest in the programs of this organization, and thank you for considering offerring your support!

Surfers had a ball in Tortola...Just Play Oct 10th coming up!

The Tortola Surf Classic, organized and hosted by Island Surf And Sail in Tortola, allowed Using Sport For Social Change to hold an essay contest for local Virgin Island youth surfers 17 years of age and younger....and 7 kids from STT-STJ received an all expenses paid trip over for the event!  The essay contest, in conjunction with Southland Gaming, The St. John Community  Foundation and the Parks and Recs Department of St. Thomas and St. John was the first of its kind and definately something to look forward to next year! Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible. Check out the amazing photos and videos by going to http://www.usingsportsforsocialchange.com or surfcostarica.org one of our local resident's Phillip Hall who lives in Costa Rica came to the event and captured it brilliantly!

The 3rd annual "Just Play" day will be on October 10th of this year.  We are looking forward to another wonderful day of sports for the youth and community of St. John. We had a kick off party at La Tapa to recap last year and start the ball rolling for this year's event.

We welcome back our two main sponsors from last year Verace St. John and St. John Catering! Verace St. John provided the 1st place trophies and the participant medals, while St. John Catering provided an amazing meal of pasta, salad and bread for all 200+ participants and Volunteers. Can't wait to see what they "cook up" for this October! We hope to include entertainment from the Love City Leapers, the Pandragon's and musical guest King Fidel, as well as moderator, St. John's own Brenda Wallace. We plan to organize another inspirational speaker, like last year's Reginald Cyntje who provided an uplifting message of "Each One, Teach One".  Reginald spoke about helping your friends and family by teaching them something you know about, and have them teach you something new.  By doing so, everyone can bring about positive change in their lives....and THAT is what Using Sports for Social Change is ALL about ... "Focusing on Virgin Island youth through sports and fitness,  giving them the confidence they need to set personal goals, achieve their aspirations and create opportunity for themselves, their family and their community."

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

As a follow-up to the  October 11 "Just Play" event, we are pleased to announce another great sport event for our St. John youth!  Because of your donations and support, Using Sport For Social Change (USFSC) will help sponsor the Tortola Surf Classic. This event 2-day event will provide opportunities for youth to learn and take part in the sport of surfing.

USFSC will be holding an essay contest for youth which will ask how surfing and other sport activities can benefit them. The best essays from three youth from St. John and three youth from St. Thomas will be judged by local government and non-profit agencies and the winners will receive expense paid travel to the event and entrance fees. This new event was organized by Mr. Dean Doeling of the Nike Corporation in cooperation with Scott Hustins of Island Surf and Sail in Tortola. Additional sponsors are the St. John Community Foundation, VI Parks and Recreation and Southland Gaming. In addition to the essay winners, we expect 20 youths from St. John will participate and as many as 10 from St. Thomas. We are now reaching out to St. Croix youth for participation from that island.

This is another example of how your donations have helped continue the USFSC program. A program such as this is allowing us to reach youth from other islands. The hope is that a new communication can be formed where participants from other than St. John may participate in not only the annual "Just Play" event but in other sporting activities.

Thanks to your donations, the USFSC program has been a resounding success and will be able to continue through 2011 and beyond. Continued partnerships and donations will make this possible and we hope for your continued support.

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Thanks to all who donated to the October 11 "Just Play" event. It was a HUGE success...beyond even our expectations! Because of your donations, Using Sport For Social Change (USFSC) provided a very active day for almost 200 children. The day consisted of games and activities for children age 2 to 6 and non-competitive sporting events for children age 7 to 18. The event was organized by Mr. Dean Doeling of the Nike Corporation. Nike provided boxes of clothing, sneakers, balls and other athletic equipment. The financials for the entire event was provided by the St. John Community Foundation as fiscal agent. The day began with a welcome and warm-up exercises for all children which included aerobic exercises and a short run. From there, the children were formed into groups and the games began! A few days prior to the event, a group of volunteers met to organize the event prizes, free clothing giveaways and participant numbering tags. All items were sized, arranged by color and boxed. The pre-organization was key to the smooth operation of the event itself and it was done in an all-volunteer fashion as was the event itself. In terms of organization, 112 children did pre-registrations. This gave us a good idea of clothing sizes and groupings. The remainder of the children registered the day of and were immediately assigned a number and a group. The activities numbered ten different events where all groups participated in five events prior to lunch and five events after lunch. The younger children were provided a separate area where games, crafts and running events took place. Lunch was provided by a local caterer as a community service! In all there were 37 volunteers throughout the day who oversaw events, served food, signed up participants, moderated, supplied water and ice and a variety of other services. The playing field was mowed and cleaned by the local Parks and Recreation agency. Effectively, the event had 250 participants including children, adult volunteers and other service providers. The day ended with a prizes for event first, second and third place finishers and a gift bag for every participant. The second annual "Just Play" day was an enormous success and plans for the 2011 event are now starting. Nike, Inc has promised additional equipment for next year's event and we anticipate an even larger volunteer base and number of participants. We thank all our supporters and hope that the same report will continue in 2011.

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With $2100 donated as of August 6, 2010, the Using Sport For Social Change annual "Just Play" program is getting close to one-half the funding required to run the Just Play event. Based on the 2009 event, the projections for 2010 will be $8000. This means that Global Giving has provided 25% of the funding and local and some corporate donations have produced an additional 25%. With an additional $4000 in donations, the project will be fully funded for 2010.

Already, plans have been made for the sporting events and as of July 21, 17 volunteers have stepped forward. We will need 25 volunteers to make the event go smoothly. Volunteer sign ups do not include the in-kind entertainment and food services provided to the event. In 2010, we expect to have several entertainers to include jumproping exhibitions, calypso, aerobic exercise instructors, motivational speakers and more. Food provided will be watermelons from a local market, beverages from a wholesale company and reduced pricing for lunch items.

We expect to have 12 different sports and game activities for children 5 to 18. Each event will be monitored by volunteers. Younger participants will have a higher ratio of child to instructor and games will be appropriate for ages 5 to 10. For older children (11 to 18) sports events will be catagorized as to age groupings (11 to 13), (14 to 16), (over 16). We are excited about the 2010 event and we expect over 125 children to participate which is approximately the same number as the 2009 event. Locally, we are soliciting donations from local businesses and individuals. We fully expect to be fully funded by the end of September. Marketing has already begun, our planning team is in place, and promotion of the event is well on the way. The "Just Play" event will be held on October 11, 2010 at the Winston Wells field in Cruz Bay, St. John

 

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Organization Information

St. John Community Foundation

Location: St. John, USVI, usa - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Celia Kalousek
Executive Director
St. John, VI Virgin Islands
$11,909 raised of $25,000 goal
 
90 donations
$13,091 to go
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