An East Bay lacrosse coach is helping to bring one of the oldest team sports in North America to more Oakland public school students. Sharon Chin reports. (6/2/21)
– He’s helping to bring one of the oldest team sports in North America to more Oakland public school students.
– A great effort and Sharon Chin introduces us to this week’s Bay Area Jefferson Award winner.
– Teenage lacrosse players celebrate graduating seniors before the final game of a COVID shortened season. Capturing the memory, coach Kevin Kelly who started the sports program, the Oakland lacrosse club in 2012.
– Our goal in this program is for them to use lacrosse to build their confidence and for them to accomplish whatever they want.
– The club introduces lacrosse at public middle and high schools in Oakland. Students who join the team get free equipment, uniforms, and transportation to games. Players get a mentor, academic and college counseling, nutrition education, and field trips like college visits.
– Oakland High senior Angelino Soriano says her mentor helped her decide to pursue a career as a nurse.
– They guided me through literally everything.
– The club serves nearly 200 players on boys and girls teams. They’re supported by volunteers and paid coaches and mentors, who are funded through individual donations, foundations, and city grants. Right now the high school girls league has three teams.
In partnership with the Oakland Unified School District and Oakland Athletic League, Kevin is expanding building and 18 girls varsity league in two years. So more girls can experience teamwork and resilience. Oakland technical high ninth grader Leila Velez.
– I get to grow along with my peers. We have our strengths. We have our downs and we get back up and just keep going.
– She started–
– Leila’s mother, Jose Ip says Kevin cultivates a caring environment.
– It’s like a friendship and a director and a coach all looped in one, and where the kids always come back, you know, to open lacrosse because of what he’s built.
– My favorite thing is just getting to know like all the kids, the families, and seeing them be successful. And most importantly, they see themselves being really successful.
– So for empowering confidence and leadership among hundreds of students through the Oakland LaCrosse club, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Kevin Kelly. Sharon Chin, KPIX 5.
– Way to go, Kevin. If you’d like to nominate an unsung hero for the Bay Area Jefferson Award, you’re welcome to fill out the online form at kpix.com/hero.