In this month’s City Pulse, we venture deep in the heart of Texas to feature the outstanding community outreach programs put on by organizations like the Houston Astros and Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.
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When it comes to the number of pro sports teams, the Lonestar State ranks 4th in America. but most Texans would argue they rank first when it comes to devotion to their teams.
This means the impact of team and athlete community outreach is all that more important.
This month we went deep in the heart of Texas to feature some outstanding work.
2020 marks a full decade since the Houston Astros built their youth academy in Acres Homes, an underserved community in Northwest Houston.
At the time, it was the second MLB academy created that aimed to bring kids in urban areas back to the game of baseball.
Before its creation, no baseball fields existed for the 25,00 residents of Acres Homes.
Now, more than 10,000 young people from ages 7 to 17 use the 25-acre facility every year.
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation created “Badges for Baseball” to build positive connections between vulnerable youth and law enforcement.
In addition to repairing relationships between inner-city youth and police, it uses team sports to teach life lessons. Badges for Baseball is active across Texas, hosting clinics and Q&A’s for local Texas communities.
Recently in Austin, 75 kids joined the Austin Police Department in a multi-sport clinic that featured quickball – the grassroots sport of the Ripken Sr. Foundation – some baseball, and also law enforcement presentations.
The program impacts more than 1000 kids across the state of Texas every year, with more than 100 law enforcement volunteers participating.