How local sports program coaches kids to positive paths

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - City leaders are considering a $10,000 grant for a mentorship program run through Augusta Parks and Rec.

From the classroom to the court, they’re trying to spread awareness of domestic violence.

“Since we began the program, kids are getting into a state that they’re comfortable to express their feelings about what’s going on in the community,” said Wayne Ivy, community center manager of Bernie Ward Community Center.

The Bernie Ward Community Center has hosted “Coaching Boys Into Men” for the past year.

In partnership with the Department of Public Health, it’s a space for activity and education. Coaches teach about basketball and domestic violence to the 13 and 14-year-olds growing up in Augusta.

“The curriculum that they learn applies skills from the sports field or the sports arena, into real-life situations and how they can approach certain circumstances in the community,” said Ivy.

While it’s only been approved through the city committee, the $10,000 from the Georgia Recreation and Park Association will not only go toward re-sourcing the team and its education but for possible county expansion.

Augusta Parks and Rec Director Maurice McDowell said: “We’re excited about it, what it offers, but also just to start that conversation with them at this age, with those kids, seeing that we can hope to build something for the future towards them, and how they act towards their counterparts.”

Nov. 1 is the deadline for this year, and the season is just about to get started.

Ivy said: “Abuse and violence go past a physical standpoint.”

They’re in the beginning stages to provide a program for young women. They hope to get started before the end of the year.