Young adult leaders have an incredible capacity to inspire children and youth in their community. As coaches on and off the field, they can be powerful role-models offering a safe and reliable presence. A positive example is both inspiring and replicable, leading to a powerful and sustainable process of community development. For marginalized youth who have been failed by adults and society, this is especially powerful:
“engaging and transformative youth-adult relationships exert the greatest impact on youth who are the most marginalized. This pattern of differential impact demonstrates that the factors that contribute to resilience, such as engagement, are contextually sensitive. For youth with the fewest resources, engagement may influence their life trajectories more than for youth with greater access to support.” (Unger, 2013)
Resilience is a key word in our process, we don’t view resilience as an individual quality, but instead a quality of the interaction between individuals and their environments. The benefits of youth-adult partnerships are realized for marginalized youth when specific conditions that promote interactions that contribute to resilience are created. That is what the Sports Creative is all about.
“It is for this reason that resilience can be defined as the individual’s ability to navigate to resources, as well as the capacity of the individual’s environment to provide resources that protect the child in ways that are meaningful” (Ungar, 2008).
Safe play, fun and a therapeutic environment, offer each young person the safety, play, support and confidence that every child should have in their community.