Former Pro Athletes To Teach Sports, Life Lessons To Foster Youth

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Foster youth will have the chance to learn about sports and life from professional athletes during the Annual Foster and Kinship Youth Sports Faire. Former Raider Tyrone Montgomery will be among 1,000 people who will be at the event, expected to be the largest faire since it was created seven years ago.

Over 500 County of San Bernardino foster, kinship and at-risk youth ages 11 – 18, are registered to participate in the June 15 event at San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The faire is designed to provide youth with an opportunity to learn the fundamental skills of team sports, sportsmanship and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  This year’s theme, “Tackling Life’s Challenges Thru Education, Physical Activity and Sports,” mirrors today’s economy and the challenges these youth face as foster, kinship and at-risk youth.

Opening ceremonies will include guest speaker Tyrone Montgomery, a former football player who played two seasons with the Raiders in Los Angeles. He will speak to the youth about how he tackled life’s challenges and hardships to become a professional athlete. Sessions will be from 9:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Hugo Castellanos, a supervising social service practitioner with CFS, is the co-chair of the event and the football component lead. Castellanos, of Fontana, is the director of Snap, Hold & Kick Inc., which develops youth through sports and education.

“For the foster youth, this event allows them to get connected to athletes,” said Castellanos. “They have an opportunity to ask questions, not only about sports, but life itself– we tie life skills to all the sports components.”

Since 2007, the number of sports clinics offered has increased due to youth demand and now includes football, basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, track and field, cheerleading/dance and volleyball.  Several professional, semi-professional and local athletes and mentors will volunteer their time to mentor the youth at each sport clinic.  Several professional athletes will mentor the youth including Roosevelt Lett, formerly of St. Louis Cardinals and Dennis Powell, formerly of the L.A. Dodgers. Additional athletes will attend the day of the event.

Youth who have registered for the Faire will receive a free item of sports equipment, lunch sponsored by In-N-Out Burger, a list of free sports programs in a variety of cities for youth to pursue their favorite sport and a backpack loaded with information on financial aid and college life expenses among many other items. While the youth are at play, foster and kinship parents and care providers can benefit by attending training that meets state requirement hours.

“We have expanded the opportunities provided at the 7th Annual CFS Sports Faire to give care providers training courses that meet ongoing requirements, while the children and youth in their care have a day of fun and physical activity,” said CFS Director DeAnna Avey-Motikeit.

Sponsorship of the Faire is being provided in part by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Children and Family Services, Children’s Fund, Children’s Network, SB County Probation Department, Department of Public Health, San Bernardino Valley College and its athletics department, Cucamonga Christian Fellowship, In-N-Out Burger, Stater Brothers and many more national and local business partners.

CFS provides family-centered programs and services designed to ensure safety, permanence, and well-being for San Bernardino County’s children, while strengthening and attempting to preserve the family unit. CFS helps prevent further harm to children from intentional physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, exploitation, or neglect by a person responsible for a child’s health or welfare.

CFS is doing its part to help the community achieve the Countywide Vision by ensuring residents have the resources they need to provide the necessities of life to their families. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found at www.sbcounty.gov.

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