Friday, May 3, 2019

Phillies, Rhys Hoskins Sponsor Movie Night for Good Sportsmanship to Support Youth Athletics

Did you know:

  • Student-Athletes are four times more likely to attend college than non-athletes.
  • Physically active kids have up to 40% higher test scores than non-athletes.
  • Student-Athletes are absent 50% less than non-athletes.
  • Student-Athletes have an 11% higher graduation rate than non-athletes.

   Despite these statistics, funding for student athletic programs has been declining across the country. School sports budgets were cut 3.5 billion dollars from 2009 to 2011, and 50% of children stop playing sports by the time they reach adolescence. If the trend continues it is estimated that 27% of American public schools will drop sports programs by 2020.

  The Phillies in conjunction with Dick's Sporting Goods sponsored their first-ever  "Movie Night" in the Diamond Club to highlight the value of youth sports.

  Phillies Movie Night Speakers highlighting the importance of youth participation in school athletic programs included Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, Phillies Announcer Scott Franzke, Dick's Sporting Goods Vice President Matthew Irvin, (who is leading Dick's Sporting Goods Foundation "Why Sports Matter" campaign) and coaches Ed Dunn and Michelle Grace from Martin Luther King High School in Philadelphia, PA.

  The "Why Sports Matter" campaign has pledged more than $50 million for youth sports so far.

The movie shown was the highly acclaimed "We Could Be King," Filmmaker Judd Erlich's film about Martin Luther King High and Germantown High Schools first football season after their merger.
Phillies First Baseman Rhys Hoskins
Rhys Hoskins 
Phillies Broadcaster Scott Franzke
Why youth sports matter panel including Martin Luther King High Football Coach Ed Dunn, Filmmaker Judd Erlich, Dick Sporting Goods VP Matthew Irvin, Rhys Hoskins, and Assistant Coach Michelle Grace (also below).

Coach Dunn, Erlich and Irvine answer questions on the importance of supporting youth sports.

For more information on the Dicks Sporting Goods "Why Sports Matter" Program:

We Could Be King film information:

Pictures of the event by the kind courtesy of Jim and Diana Briggs.

St. Josephs Cross-Country Team Lets The Dogs Out For Great Practices

Going Beyond 

by Monica Lester

Published in All Creatures  Magazine  (Guidepost) May June 2019

“Approximately 3.3 million dogs enter the animal shelter system in the United States every year, according to the ASPCA. These animals face uncertain futures, but one thing is for sure. They need love and exercise.
  That’s where the cross-country team of St. Josephs High School in Orcutt, California, steps- or runs- in. Since 2016, the team has helped Santa Barbara County Animal Services provide exercise, socialization, and love to their shelter dogs by taking them running.
Luis Escobar, then the teams' coach, and Stacy Silva, the community outreach coordinator for Animal Services, came up with the idea during the 2016 practice season. The school is a mile-and-a-half run down the street from the shelter, and the student-athletes were always on the move. It seemed like an ideal way to keep the dogs fit and give students the opportunity to learn about vulnerable animals in their community.
Image result for st joseph's cross country california shelter dogs
St. Joe Cross-Country team with canine training partners
“It’s a perfect relationship,” Escobar says. “The students are running outside, and these dogs can benefit from being with them, moving and breathing fresh air.”
Silva says that the runs are not only joyful for the animals but clearly a bonding experience for the team as well. It’s also been a great way to build awareness about the available animals in the shelter, which takes care of about 6,000 dogs each year.
“We do everything we can to give these dogs a good life while they’re in the shelter, but it is not a home,” Silva says. “So anytime the community can help us meet the mental and physical needs of our animals it’s a win-win.”
  The cross-country teams first run with the pups was a resounding success, due in part to a video Escobar posted on Facebook that quickly went viral. Escobar was invited to meet renowned dog trainee Cesar Millan and the kids on the team got to be part of filmmaker Steven Latham’s documentary Shelter Me, about people who help shelter animals.

  “I believe the story was so popular because it’s simply a genuine gesture of kindness,” Escobar says. “It wasn’t contrived, and it resonated.”Image result for st joseph's cross country california shelter dogs
 There was a moment during that first run that Escobar will never forget. One of the athletes finished behind the rest of the pack because he was carrying an 18-month-old terrier mix named Fred, who had no interest in running—or walking, for that matter. “Seeing Fred’s face as he was being carried down the street was very sweet,” “He was so appreciative that he was being loved. And that’s what this is all about.” Luckily for Fred, that student’s family adopted him.
  Today, students can log volunteer hours for school by running with the dogs, according to Tom Mott, St. Joseph’s dean of athletics. And the shelter has built on the foundation that the cross-country team established by expanding its volunteer opportunities to include Miles for Mutts, a program that encourages community members to run with the dogs in the shelter. “When animals can get a little extra love,” Mott says, it can go a long way.”

St. Joseph High School Cross-Country Team Shelter Dog Run Video:
More information on Guidepost magazine: