Lawrence High Athletic Director, Brendan Neilon, says; “I’m looking forward to continuing our important work with Beyond Soccer & Everyone’s A Player to expand and improve our Lawrence Sports Leadership Academy.  Moving towards our 4th 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 LSLA highlights:

  • More than 400 Lawrence middle and high school youth have benefited since 2016;
  • 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;
  • An off-the-field fitness highlight was Mike Caron, of Get Burly, who ran an intensive and interactive lead-and-follow boot camp session in 2018;
  • Surveys also revealed that 74% of participants would not have anything to do if LSLA was not offered. It’s clear we’re meeting community needs related to youth disengagement, inactivity and lack of quality &  affordable summer sports camps;
  • 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)