Community Impact and Diversity
Cen Cal Sports was established in 2015 and has been supporting the youth of the Central Valley by giving opportunities to learn how to succeed on and off the field. We started with basketball and have expanded to chess, golf and educational programs to open the doors and allow kids to grasp at opportunities. Cen Cal Sports does not plan on stopping there – with the help of our community and volunteers programs can grow and inspire countless individuals.
The Central Valley has a rich culture surrounding athletics connecting to student success. The impetus behind establishing Cen Cal Sports in 2015 was an attempt to equal the playing field by allowing access to sporting opportunities and thereby hope to kids in the Central Valley. The initial emphasis was basketball and we’ve celebrated great success in players at all levels who have participated from our local community. In the process of working with central valley schools, we quickly discovered that other sports were also needed as outreach. We have since thrown tournaments, leagues and camps for basketball and chess. We have strong relationships with local K-12 schools as well as colleges – many times working through the classroom in such capacities as mentoring, teaching the fundamentals of different sport disciplines, promoting college readiness, workshops about careers, health care awareness and financial literacy.
We are a grassroots organization and enjoy working alongside school staff to enhance the educational experience for many students. Our work in southeast and central Fresno has blossomed into opportunities to bring in groups from all over the Central Valley. Having partnerships with Fresno City College, California State University, Fresno and Fresno Pacific University has allowed us to plant the seeds of higher education and water these opportunities by allowing student volunteers from these schools to be involved throughout the process.
Our goal is to give kids a chance to have opportunities to participate in sports on a recreational level or competitive level with moments to sharpen their skills in the process. Oftentimes kids try out for a team and may not make it, but having the approach of building youth to be well rounded, well prepared through practice and have a love for a sport is the goal at the end of the day. Not all students will go on to a professional level and that is the reason we incorporate/promote career pathways that give students the opportunity to compete in the workforce like they would on a court or field. We hope to inspire youth and have them believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to and prepare for.