Using Sport For Social Change

by St. John Community Foundation

Hello USFSC supporters!

We had another successful 7th annual "Just Play" event in October, and we are looking forward to holding our 8th annual in October of 2016. We are also looking for other opportunities to reach out to the youth in the community of St. John.

Positive change, when done sucesfully will last a long time and become self sustainable. We want to insure that whatever direction we take to help the youth of the island, is taken with meaningful steps to a resolution of the problem, instead of taking the bandaid approach. This will take time and commitment, but the end result will be positive for everyone in the community.

We would like to hear from you, with ideas and insight into how we can make positive change in the St. John Community. Donation for these efforts are accepted through Global Giving and the St. John Community Foundation and are tax deductible. Let's work together to bring our youth and community together.



Dean Doeling

Founder: USFSC


October 12, 2015
St. John, USVI

175 youth ages 5-17 and 47 volunteers showed up to participate in one of St. John's largest sporting events. The 7th Annual "Just Play" event put on every year for the last 7 years by Using Sport for Social Change and the St. John Community Foundation.

This free day of sport Allows island youth to participate in 5 sport categories that includes football toss, soccer ball kick, 50 yard dash, basketball throws and a soccer relay. Each age group is given a water bottle and event tee, and are timed or scored by the volunteers during the morning. Then all are brought in out of the sun to a full meal provided by Mathayom Private Chefs, who has cattered this event since it's inception.

After lunch, the youth are able to play each sport station at their choosing until the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards can be tallied. This years guest speaker, Dr. David Santesteban (presently the Interim Athletic Director and Head Men’s Soccer Coach at the University of the Virgin Islands) gave a wonderful talk about making choices and everything we do propels us in one direction or another, and we need to make good choices in order for us to aspire to greater things.

The awards are then handed out, with 1st place trophies and second and third place medals. Each child is then sent home (extremely tired and worn out of course) with a sports sack filled with Nike product, as well as a particpant medal stuck in every bag.

This year marks the 7th annual event. The longest running, free sporting event for Viring Island youth.

Hey everyone! Great news!! To date we have raised $4534.00 for this years event!

I wanted to share with you, our USFSC supporters, a quick snapshot of what it actually takes to put this event on. Without amazing people like you and our sponsors, this event could have never taken place, much less, lasted 7 years!

Incredibly, these events are worth over $60,000.00 each. The donations of product from our sponsors cover over $54,000.00. This leaves just over $6,500.00 of expenses left to cover. Every year we count on cash donations to cover these expenses which include T-shirts, water bottles, trophies and medals, shipping, Gatorade, event entertainment, event insurance, facility rental and other hard costs associated with putting this event on.

Every little bit helps. Please consider being a sponsor this year. It's important to get on board early as we have many items that need to be pre-ordered, purchased, produced and then shipped down prior to the event.


Using Sports for Social Change (USFSC), in its 7th year in the USVI, was formed because the voices of our youth need to be heard. USFSC is an idea by Dean Doeling, a Senior Production Artist for the Nike Corporation.

Dean, during his early visits to St. John noticed the conditions of recreational facilities and the lack of programs for youth and decided to do something about it. Dean envisioned a group of concerned St. John residents working toward a common goal-to use sports to affect social change.

Over the past seven years, Dean has sent over 1000 basketballs, footballs and Soccer balls to St. John-all donated. The equipment was distributed to the various schools and to Parks and Recreation. He also donated over 20 new Nike softball mitts to the Ruby Rutnik Softball tournament in 2009. Also, USFSC in conjunction with UMOJA, held a basketball clinic for youth at the Cruz Bay court. Dean sought and found an additional clinic leader through the USFSC website. This two-day event proved to be very popular and more events are planned.

On October 12, 2009 USFSC hosted
the first-ever “Just Play" field day. This all-day event allowed youth from age 2 to 17 to participate in sporting events. Young children ages 2 to 5 had a fully staffed area with games designed just for kids. Our older youths competed, by ages, in competitive field events for prizes. Many local volunteers were on hand as well.

In 2010, USFSC donated 58 pair of new Nike football cleats to the St. John Parks and Recs flag football team and 20 pair of new Nike baseball cleats to the Ruby Rutnik Softball tournament. Also over 30 soccer balls were donated to Gifft Hill School for their soccer program, and numerous balls were donated to Sprauve School for their various athletic activities.

Also in 2010 USFSC sent down new Nike baseball bats to the St. John Parks and Recs Department, along with 12 new Nike footballs and 12 new Nike basketballs being sent to the St. John Community Foundation for distribution to the local schools and the Parks and Recs.

The 2nd and 3rd annual “Just Play Field Day” in October 2010 and 2011 was yet another huge success!

USFSC was a sponsor for the 1st and 2nd Annual Tortola Surf Classic in 2011and 2012 and held an essay contest for youth of the USVI to write about how surfing could improve the lives of Virgin Islanders.  Winners were selected to win an all expense paid trip to Tortola with a chaperone of their choosing.

The 4th Just Play day in October of 2012 was another huge success. Having streamlined the process, this all donation and volunteer driven event brought out about 150 youth and 75 volunteers. USFSC also donated over 150 pair of new Nike track shoes to the Ivanna Eudora Keen High School in St. Thomas. Also, 75 backpacks filled with school supplies were donated by Doeling to the Guy Benjamin grade school in Coral Bay, St. John.

In October of 2013 record numbers of attendies, both volunteers and participants enjoyed the 5th annual Just Play event, which had brought with it a new marketing campaign and record numbers. Over 200 children and 75 volunteers enjoyed a free, fun filled day of sports. Also, 150 backpacks filled with school supllies were donated to the 1-6 grade youth of Julius E. Sprauve School in Cruz Bay St. John.

The 6th Annual Just Play event in 2014 was another success! Many new and returning sponsors made this event special for the islands youth. We even had a tropical storm scare, but the storm shifted and passed by the island, making for another successful event!

Planning for the 7th Annual "Just Play!" day is under way and USFSC is in need of volunteers, sponsors, and other equipment to make this free “Just Play” event possible again this year. Of course, donations of money are always welcome and will be used to offset the cost of the “Just Play” event, as well as to continue to uplift and support the current sports programs on island by providing equipment and assistance.                


Hello everyone!

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Organization Information

St. John Community Foundation

Location: St. John, USVI, usa - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Celia Kalousek
Executive Director
St. John, VI Virgin Islands
$11,484 raised of $25,000 goal
84 donations
$13,516 to go
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