Playworks Indiana is so excited to tell YOU about our All IN Sports Leagues, a collaborative programmatic effort with Indiana Sports Corp. Through Playworks developmental sports Leagues, trained Playworks Coaches, based in partner schools full time during the school year, implement a social emotional skills focused curriculum in after school sports leagues for third and fourth graders four times a year. Students can sign up to participate at no cost, providing the opportunity to learn and participate in a team environment with soccer, flag football, girls basketball, and kickball. Playworks Leagues are non-competitive in order to focus on building skills in a given sport so students can gain confidence and a positive, and often first, team experience with their peers.
“Through sport, young people increase their social skills, teamwork, sense of positive identity, and desire to give back to their team and community – all attributes that have been shown to drive long-term success academically, on the job and in life. “One of the most important finding shows that sports programs are especially important for young men, who have more difficulty than girls growing these skills off the field,”
Kim Sabo Flores, Ph.D.; Hello Insight, ‘Sports-based Youth Development: Hitting a Home Run in Social and Emotional Learning Outcomes’, 2020
Playworks developmental sports Leagues are one of four of our direct service program components. During the 2020-2021 school year, Playworks had to scale back our after school programming, including Leagues, due to restrictions of the pandemic. As we prepared for the 2021-2022 school year with the ability to bring back these afterschool components, we wanted to revamp our Leagues to ensure we were making the greatest impact for our students whose access to these kinds of programs were severely limited because of the pandemic. Enter Indiana Sports Corp (ISC). With both of our organizations dedicated to using sport and play to advance Indiana communities, we found a natural fit to collaborate. Indiana Sports Corp, will help our League participants celebrate their growth at the end of their 6 week “season” by organizing and supporting season end Showcase events for all participating schools competing in tournament style play. With ISC being the experts in hosting world class sporting events, they are able to elevate the experience for our League students through Showcase venues, like Carroll Stadium where Indy Eleven plays, free sporting event tickets and fan experiences, like the Big 10 Fan fest, and they also bring a wide volunteer network to this program as they strive towards building vibrant communities with civic pride. Thanks ISC!
This new partnership will foster a foundational relationship between participants and organized sport by creating teams and environments that uphold Playworks core values of respect, inclusion, healthy play, and healthy community. The future of this program is so bright as we expect to scale across the city in the coming school years. Eventually, Playworks and ISC aim to create a League curriculum and program model that can be adopted by any school or youth serving organization across the state! This will provide more kids with a positive team experience that will motivate them to continue to play sports and be physically active.
The first Showcase event culminating our soccer season was held on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at Carroll Stadium and was a huge success. We had six participating schools, including: Global Prep Academy, Circle City Prep, Brookside Elementary, Brookview Elementary, SUPER School 19, and Lakeside Elementary. All our players were outfitted in All IN Sports branded team tees provided by adidas Indy. It was a great day for the students to show their parents, teammates, and themselves all they’ve learned and the skills they’ve improved on since the start of their season.
“Nothing beats being a part of a team. All IN Sports gives students an inclusive opportunity to practice teamwork and sportsmanship, while also exposing them to a wide variety of motor skills and games. Not only do students get to foster relationships with their peers, but they also get to flourish under the guidance of their Playworks Coach. We’re excited to host even more families at future showcases as the All IN Sports community continues to grow.” Nicholas Pointer, Playworks Program Specialist
Along with serving as a school based Site Coordinator for the Playworks TeamUp service, Nick’s main role as Program Specialist is organizing and implementing the All IN Sports Leagues and after school programming in schools. Nick joined the Playworks Indiana team as a full time staff member this summer after serving his AmeriCorps term with us during the 2020-2021 school year. Thanks for all your hard work Nick, WHOOSH!