Olympians, Local Youth Join Law Enforcement Officers for Multi-Sport Mentoring Clinic

USA Track & Field Olympians, Mark Crear and Sharrieffa Barksdale, and Salinas Police Officers mentor at-risk youth at Ripken Foundation clinic

Salinas, CA (September 21, 2019) – The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and Group1001 hosted a Badges for Baseball clinic yesterday with more than 80 local children. The event aimed to build bridges in the local community between youth and law enforcement and keep children interested in sports as a safe and nurturing way to learn and develop.

With guidance from USA Track & Field Olympians, Mark Crear and Sharrieffa Barksdale, youth participated in a USA Track & Field Run, Jump, Throw clinic.  Members of the Salinas Police Department, also led youth in Badges for Baseball programming, including Quickball, a fast-paced, easy to learn version of baseball, track & field stations, dodgeball, soccer, as well as law enforcement presentations. Badges for Baseball is a juvenile crime prevention program created by the Ripken Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice that pairs police and children together to play and learn in communities across the country. In 2018, Badges for Baseball impacted over 40,000 at-risk youth in 381 communities with help from 2,692 law enforcement officers and other professional youth mentor.

“By investing in these clinics we’re investing in the betterment of Salinas youth and the community as a whole,” said Dan Towriss, CEO, Group1001. “We share a belief with the Ripken Foundation that through the power of sports we’re able to build connections and relationships that will leave a positive impact. We’re thrilled to be here today to create a brighter future for Salinas and have some fun while doing so.” 

The multi-sport clinic was made possible thanks in part to Group1001, who partnered with the Ripken Foundation last year and provided a generous $5 million donation. The donation will be used to build a total of ten Youth Development Parks over five years in ten cities across the country as well as support various Ripken Foundation programs.

“A child’s potential is limitless when they have community mentors encouraging and inspiring them along the way. We’re grateful to have officers from the Salinas Police Department with us today as well as two Olympic athletes who are using sports to connect with local children and inspire them to reach their full potential,” said Steve Salem, president and CEO of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. “We can’t thank our partners enough for their support of our programs.”

The Ripken Foundation has been present in California since 2006 to bring its programming to at-risk and  underserved youth. The Ripken Foundation has completed three Youth Development Parks throughout California, including Kevin Harvick Foundation Park in Bakersfield, Dodgers Dreamfield at Baldwin Hills Recreation Center in Los Angeles, and a second Dodgers Dreamfield in Fontana. 

About the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation  For the last 18 years, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has worked tirelessly to implement youth development programs and create parks that directly address the problems facing at-risk youth in distressed communities across the country. Inspired by one of the most iconic baseball families, the Ripkens created the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to honor the legacy of its family patriarch, longtime coach, and mentor, Cal Ripken, Sr. The Ripken Foundation uses sports-themed activities to bring police officers, youth partners and underserved kids ages 9 – 14 together on a level playing field to learn invaluable life skills. 

The Ripken Foundation’s Youth Development Park Initiative creates clean, safe places for kids to play on multipurpose, synthetic surface fields that promote healthy living in an outdoor recreational facility. Since 2009, the Ripken Foundation has 88 completed parks across the country in 23 states.  In 2018, the Ripken Foundation impacted over 1.5 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Park and mentor programs. For more information, visit www.RipkenFoundation.org. Follow @CalRipkenSrFdn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Group1001 Group1001 is a customer-centric insurance holding company with combined assets under management of approximately $37 billion as of December 31, 2017. We are reimagining the insurance industry experience in ways that empower people financially and help them live better lives.  Our mission as a group is to make insurance more useful, intuitive and accessible so everyone can get the most value from their money.

Group1001 believes education and sports have the power to transform communities. We partner with Fields & Futures and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to revitalize sports fields in communities across the country, to provide safe and nurturing spaces for young people in the communities we serve.  Group1001 also sponsors the Power of Sports, which celebrates powerful stories of people and organizations connecting through sports while driving positive social change for children and communities across the U.S.

For more information about Group1001, please visit us at Group1001.com.

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