August 04, 2022

By Amanda Scurlock

Sports Editor


On the weekend before the MLB All-Star Game, the Boys and Girls Club of Ramona Gardens partnered with Nike to host a sports camp for the youth in Boyle Heights. The youth participated in a two-hour workout on the Dodgers Dreamfield at Ramona Gardens to promote the joys of being active.

The sports camp was for youth between the ages of eight and 14; youth were encouraged to bring their friends, especially if they had little to no experience in baseball or softball. Boys and Girls Club site director Jesus Delgado sees the camp as an opportunity for youth to learn about teamwork, build friendship bonds and have fun.

“We are so excited to partner with Nike and give our kids the ability to have some fun and get some exercise during one of baseball’s biggest weekends,” Delgado said. “Sports help youth not just physically, but mentally and socially as well.”

There were six stations where the youth could practice hitting, grounding balls, catching, sliding, and pitching on different skill levels. Nike’s partner Student Sports helped guide the youth through the stations.

Student Sports Leader Jordan Brown wants the youth to know the importance of being healthy.

“It’s very important to have the Boyle Heights community participate in an event like this because not a lot of kids in this area have access to free sports camps or sports in general,” Brown said. “It’s also great to get the members active and teach them about healthy lifestyles.”

For Kiana Anaya, 14, mentorship from coaches helps her answer questions that she has about the sport. She feels that it is meaningful that the youth get lessons in America’s favorite pastime.

“I was most excited about the drills and baseball exercises I’ll get to experience with my friends. I was also thrilled to be getting the opportunity to learn new skills as I go through these exercises,” Anaya said. “Having the opportunities to meet with coaches and mentors on sports was really eye-opening and lead me to learn and enjoy sports in new ways.”

The Boys and Girls Club of Ramona Gardens is one of the locations of Boys and Girls Clubs of West Gabriel Valley and Eastside. Their relationship with Nike started in 2017 when Lakers legend Kobe Bryant created the Mamba League in partnership with the two organizations. Since then, both organizations have collaborated in other initiatives to help youth in impoverished communities.

“I was super excited to learn [something] new,” Samantha Quiñonez,9, said. “I really want to gain new skills so I can join a baseball team and not be scared to do it. It’s important for kids like me to have access to sports to have a healthy lifestyle.”

Along with events like the sports camp, the Boys and Girls club is one of 13 organizations that are part of the LA Made to Play Neighborhood Initiative which is a collaboration with Nike and Play Equity Fund that creates equal play opportunities for Black and Brown girls.


Category: Sports