NEWBURGH - The Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh has been chosen to participate in the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Sports Matter program. Sports Matter is a new initiative which stresses the importance of youth athletics and aims to raise awareness of the growing issue of underfunded youth sports teams. DICK’s has committed to provide up to $2 million in matching funds via a new crowd funding platform to save teams facing financial challenge. The Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh has been awarded a $5,000 matching grant to save the Newburgh Panthers AAU Basketball program. The catch is the club must raise $5,000 by May, 23, 2014 to receive the DICK’s match.
"To encourage youth to increase their engagement in physical activities, the Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh established the Newburgh Panthers AAU Basketball program. While the Panthers AAU Basketball program has been a huge success, due to the high levels of poverty in Newburgh, registration fees that normally range from $500-$850 were simply impractical," said Kevin White, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh. "Through the Sports Matter program the Club will be able to offer scholarships into the AAU program, providing deserving children with an opportunity to play on one of the teams."
"Playing basketball for the Newburgh Panthers has helped me become more of a leader and communicate with other teammates," said Elias Oquendo 17, Newburgh Panthers player, "I have passion and love for the game of basketball."
"Playing has helped me take school more serious. It has help me become more responsible," said Shakur Melvin, 15.
For more information on the Panthers or to contribute to their Sports Matter platform please visit sportsmatter.com/preserve-the-panthers .