“When we took over the Watts Bears and renamed them the Watts Rams, we at all times envisioned a program larger than simply youth soccer,” mentioned Executive Vice President of Community Impact and Engagement Molly Higgins. “Today is a continuation of the evolution of this system. We are permitting our Watts Rams coaches to proceed to develop professionally and tapping into the experience of UVA to assist them develop as mentors, lecturers, and coaches.”
The PYD program will act as a useful information for Watts Rams coaches, who additionally function LAPD officers, and consists of the perfect approaches and practices for supporting the Watts Rams athletes’ development and growth as thriving youth in addition to athletes. Throughout the workshop collection led by Youth-Nex: The University of Virginia Center to Promote Effective Youth Development, Watts Ram coaches will give attention to the ideas of constructive youth growth, establish the strengths and challenges of the Watts Rams athletes, use engagement and behavioral methods to promote constructive youth growth and implement strength-based methods to problem experiences related with systemic oppression.
“This is approach deeper than simply soccer,” mentioned Watts Rams General Manager Marc Maye. “Football is simply the hook that brings the youngsters collectively. It helps to create the umbrella of enjoyable, that all of us have the identical synergy for. The wrap round companies that we will present by means of this program are for the social and emotional wellbeing of the kid. Getting the officers to be taught what mentorship is and appears to be like like and offers them the instruments to be correct mentors. Whether that’s assembly the youngsters the place they’re academically or determining the place their struggles and trauma come from, we would like to present these companies and assets to them and then have some enjoyable.”
This collection will embody 5 workshops all through the 2022-23 season. Following every workshop, individuals will go away with actionable concepts and approaches to apply to their interactions with youth, each on and off the sector. Additionally, individuals may have entry to a groundbreaking simulation program to develop their mentoring abilities in a digital atmosphere.
“Youth programming is essential for us as a result of it retains us engaged locally and supplies a chance to change the trajectory of a teenager’s life which is large for me as a police officer, plus the ripple impact of change is highly effective,” mentioned LAPD Lt. James Michael Bland. “Without our companions that present the avenue to achieve this, this might be troublesome to accomplish. This offers us the flexibility to not solely defend Los Angeles but additionally interact with Los Angeles. It is applications like this that assist us acquire belief and create relationships in our communities.”
Rams General Manager Les Snead serves as a board member on the UVA School of Education and Human Development Foundation Board, a dynamic group of professionals who’ve dedicated themselves as fundraisers and ambassadors of the college, selling EHD’s work amongst their networks. Snead labored with Higgins, Maye, and the University of Virginia to create a program that may improve LAPD’s youth growth coaching.
“We at all times speak about how our Watts Rams are supported by our complete group and this can be a tangible instance of that,” mentioned Higgins. “Les noticed a chance to make the most of the thought-leaders at UVA to present this development alternative for our coaches to higher equip them to be the absolute best position fashions and mentors for our children. The coaches have been extremely receptive and appreciative of the assets and assist from Les and UVA.”
“Football represents successful,” mentioned Maye. “When the younger folks can are available and win with the officers, coaches and volunteers, exterior of soccer, it makes the successful much more particular when they’re taking part in soccer.”
Entering the 2019 season, the Rams formalized their assist of the Watts Rams (previously referred to as the Watts Bears) and the LAPD’s efforts to bridge neighborhood and police relations by means of the sport of soccer. As half of the partnership, the Rams fund all parts of the Watts Rams program, together with uniforms and tools. Each 12 months, the Rams present engagement alternatives with present gamers, alumni, coaches, scouts, soccer operations and entrance workplace employees to assist increase their information and ignite their passions past the taking part in discipline.
For extra details about the Rams’ neighborhood outreach efforts, go to www.therams.com/neighborhood.