March 14, 2019 05:25 PM
Growing up playing sports, Matt Brown experienced the camaraderie and self-confidence it brings.
"Sports was a part of the school system, there were no financial barriers to getting involved and, theoretically, everybody could, and for the most part did (participate)," Brown recalls.
But when he started coaching his own sons three years ago, he noticed something troubling.
"I noticed lots of kids were missing," he said.
When spring football registration came out, Brown, a coach, added his personal phone number to the form, and got a call that spurred an emotional movement.
"I had an 11-year-old child reach out to me that same night and he wanted to get involved, and I thought 'great' and asked if I could speak to a parent, and he said no his parent was out of the country and his aunt was watching him, but she didn't speak English," Brown said.
More from KSTP:
Brown helped him enroll, and that interaction helped launch Youth Sports 4 All, a grassroots effort created by parents with a mission to give all kids the opportuntiy to benefit from youth sports.
"We gave kids rides to schools, we made peanut butter sandwiches (for some kids)," he said.
The nonprofit is now raising awareness of what sports are offered and when, simplifying the registration and scholarship process through one online site, and raising money so more kids can play.
"I think my initial motivation around this was just participation, but I think we've realized that some of these kids needed this, I think some of these kids need this more than others," he said.
Their efforts are catching on, spreading to more sports and more age groups, and hopefully soon, more communties.
"I'd love nothing more than to share the blueprint of what we've seen be successful, and contiue to share ideas and thoughts, because if this could spread to other communties, it would obviously be very awesome," Brown said.
Youth Sports 4 All is hosting a free fun run on Saturday, March 23rd at the West Medicine Lake Community Club. Donations are encourged and will allow more children to participate in youth sports.
Updated: March 14, 2019 05:25 PM
Created: March 14, 2019 03:42 PM
Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company