Lawrence High Athletic Director, Brendan Neilon, says; “I am looking forward to continuing our important work with Beyond Soccer and Everyone’s A Player to expand and improve our Lawrence Sports Leadership Academy (LSLA).  Moving towards our second summer of providing much-needed, quality sports camps and leadership support to the youth of Lawrence, I envision overall participation to increase and the impact of the program to be noticeable.  Through our effort, we hope to build school spirit and community pride!

Some Lawrence Sports Leadership Academy (LSLA) highlights:

  • More than 350 Lawrence middle and high school youth have benefited from LSLA since its inargural year;
  • Our ability to attract funders and partners with aligning missions, allowed us to offer this quality sports academy to Lawrence youth at just $20/week!
  • Post camp surveys revealed that LSLA exceeded expectations, i.e. the average score was an 18.9 out of 20, with LSLA staff enthusiasm, motivational speakers and fitness offerings getting the highest, positive reviews;
  • An off-the-field fitness highlight was Mike Caron, of Get Burly, who ran an intensive and interactive lead-and-follow boot camp session for all LSLA participants. Almost 100% of participants want Get Burly back in 2018!;
  • Surveys also revealed that 74% of participants would not have anything to do if LSLA was not offered. It’s clear that we are meeting community needs related to youth disengagement, inactivity and lack of quality and affordable sports camps over the summer;
  • A highlight was our speaker-series that brought in professional athletes and motivational speakers including Ronnie Lippett, former New England Patriots cornerback; Lad in a Battle/James Orrigo; Sam Mitchell and the awesome Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group team; Ira Martin of Prepare2Perform; New England Revolution Academy Coaches and team Mascot; Michael Caron of Get Burly; Tony Hajjar and Jake Bosse from Drive Custom Fit; Dushawne “Doc” Simpson from the Boston Breakers; and Ushearnda Reynolds founder of United Conquerors Basketball.
  • Top- notch, expert trainers and fitness professional ran sessions during the camp including: Steven Alario of Granite State Fitness; Michael Caron of Get Burly; Tony Hajjar and Jake Bosse from Drive Custom Fit; Ushearnda Reynolds; and Frank Drejaj, New England Gladiators Basketball.
  • Local yoga and group exercise professionals, Becky Gabryjelski also from Drive Custom Fit and The Yoga Loft; Zumba Dance with Tallie & More, Tallie Abernathy and Dolis Negron-Rosario; and Melissa Aceto-Delos Santos got kids moving through Zumba, yoga, and other alternative fitness that introduced them to other ways to incorporate physical fitness into their daily routines.
  • The New Balance Foundation provided awesome, reversible camp pinnies that enhanced participants’ competitive spirit. New Balance also donated water bottles, which were much needed during those hot, August camp weeks;
  • We estimate that LSLA, on average, would cost campers $300/week. That means we provided a $50,000+ camp experience to Lawrence Youth at only $15-$20/week. This is only possible because of our generous and committed partner network (see partner list)