The partnership between Laureus and Coach Across America (CAA) launched in New Orleans yesterday with a very special event at a local school followed by a trip to the Home of the New Orleans Saints: the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
This New Orleans initiative, where Laureus is launching with CAA for the first time, will train and place 26 coaches in 11 local after-school sports programs to put into action much needed work to combat youth crime.
Laureus Academy Chairman Edwin Moses and Academy Members Marcus Allen, Robby Naish and Monica Seles, were there to see the kind of work that will take place and speak with young people who will benefit from the project’s work.
Recent research has suggested that budget cuts in after-school sports programs have left young Americans three times more at risk of getting involved in unlawful activities.
To help stem this concern, an incredible 3,250 underserved youth in local communities will benefit from the new activities on offer and help young people who are forced to choose between joining a gang, doing drugs or simply staying at home.
“Today’s coaches go beyond the traditional sense of the term ‘coach,’” Edwin Moses said. “It’s important for an area such as New Orleans – especially in a post-Katrina New Orleans – to have quality coaches serving these kids. With all the violence happening among youth in this area, it’s clear a gap exists between youth and access to after-school sports programs. These coaches are mentors, community organisers and mediators. Investing in proper training and offering support for these coaches is vital to sports-based youth development.”
The New Orleans kick-off is part of a nationwide program that, with a $1.3 million national commitment from MBUSA to Laureus USA, focuses on training and placing 250 CAA coaches in sports-based youth development projects in underserved neighbourhoods in: Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and New Orleans.