Mission

The Ravenswood Youth Athletic Association (RYAA) is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization whose mission is to build character, families, and faith in the youth of East Palo Alto and east Menlo Park (the Belle Haven area). We do that through positive, faith-based sports programs at all levels of play.

Strategy

RYAA offers a variety of low-cost, high-quality sports programs to the Ravenswood community. Sports creates an environment of small groups where children are eager to learn from the coach. We recruit these coaches from a variety of churches inside and outside of the community, from parents of the participants, from the staff at local schools, and the community at large.

We support the efforts of the coaches with the following:

  • Training in teaching sports and in working with children.
  • Materials that include practice plans, character development lessons, and positive coaching techniques.
  • An incentive program that rewards youth for demonstrating good character during games.
  • A positive environment that encourages the players to express their own faith at practices and games.

While we are a faith-based program, our programs are open to all participants regardless of their religious beliefs. All of our programs are priced affordably, and also include the ability for participants to work in the program in exchange for participation fees.

Work-to-Play Program

Though our participation fees are very low, about 20% of our players still say they need financial support to play. For these players, we offer our Work-to-Play Program. Players can choose to setup, cleanup, coach or referee. In particular, those players who choose to coach or referee learn responsibility and leadership skills while they work off their participation fees. We regularly have over 100 teenagers serving as coaches and referees each year.

Programs

Fall Recreational Soccer

Our Fall soccer seasons host over 500 participants on over 40 teams. In our recreational soccer program, everyone gets a chance to play, and the emphasis is on fun, good sportsmanship, character development, and positive coaching. Coaches use a curriculum to teach soccer skills and Biblically based life skills. Players earn badges by demonstrating good character. Games begin with prayer and end with handshakes. All games are in East Palo Alto and the Belle Haven community.

Club Soccer

For those players wishing to play in a more competitive environment all year round, we offer a club soccer program. This environment gives coaches a chance to develop long-term relationships with players and families. Teams often travel to other cities to play games.

Summer Camps and Leadership Development Program

We offer a variety of summer programs as the community expresses need. Sports and activities include: tennis, basketball, bicycling, volleyball, flag football, dancing, singing, skateboarding, drawing, painting, photography, soccer and more. The camps are lead by high school interns, who also receive training in leadership, financial management, ethics, Bible, and career development.

Partnership Opportunities

We are always looking for program directors, coaches, referees, administrative help, Bible club leaders, photographers, special project coordinators and other volunteers. No experience is necessary. We will teach you what you need to do, and walk along side of you during the season.

Families in particular have found serving in the RYAA rewarding. Parents have found it an easy way to combine service with providing their own children a positive sports experience.

To find out more, contact us


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