Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a lifelong impact on us, well into adulthood. Which is why we at The Zone believe it’s imperative to reach and connect with the youth, in order to provide worthwhile experiences that positively influence and shape them.
Sharing a similar mission, Westchester Athletics, a 501c3 charity athletic program focused on competitive youth basketball and baseball, aims to build well-rounded individuals by creating a sense of belonging; building confidence; and developing valuable skills such as teamwork, time management, strong work ethic and dedication. The Organization, which currently has four boys basketball teams and a girls basketball team comprised of students from all walks of life and different socioeconomic and cultural background across lower Westchester and the Bronx, teaches their athletes skills development on the court while also placing a large emphasis on success off of the court, both academically and socially through training and tutoring.
We’ve had the pleasure of having Westchester Athletics athletes at our camps and clinics, allowing us to supplement the Organization’s efforts.
“The Zone has provided an additional support to our kids,” Westchester Athletes head coach Paul Fisher says. “They have provided our athletes the opportunity for additional intense basketball training, which has taken their skill to a higher level. They have assisted in providing our athletes training in the summer as a mini summer camp, which also assist the parents in making sure their child is remaining active during the day in a safe environment.”
“The kids have learned a lot more fundamentals of the game, as well as, knowledge of the game,” he continues. “I have learned different techniques and drills to continue teaching what our kids have been learning. On top our kids training and getting stronger, Ivan has also offered some wise words of advice for our players, while they worked out with him. It was great that his talks with the players, can act as an extension of what I constantly preach to them. It is always a great experience for our youth to meet and speak with basketball players of all levels for motivation, but it is a special treat to meet someone, who has made it to the ultimate level- as Detroit Piston Langston Galloway has.”
“Basketball has been my motivation growing up. The game is what kept my head on straight and kept me off of the streets. It has guided me through high school and helped me to go to college and remained focus,” he tells The Zone. “Having young boys of my own, I wanted to ensure that they are receiving consistent training to keep them focused. This goal turned into Westchester Athletics and as players join they become just like my children, in that I want them to succeed and have something that will push them to be successful and to stay on the right path.”
Westchester Athletics is currently hosting tryouts for their girls travel team before they gear up for various tournaments this upcoming Spring and Summer. They will play throughout the tri-state area through Zero Gravity, Adidas Gauntlet, and A-Game tournaments. Beyond that, they hope to continue to motivate and prepare kids to reach their full potential and succeed in life, regardless of what walks of life they come from.
In fact, both The Zone and Westchester Athletics are minority-owned Organizations that are testaments of success beyond the court and are working together for the better of all kids- whether from the inner city or not.
“I think that in today’s day, where youth sports can transform a life, The Zone has a duty to the community and to the kids of tomorrow,” Ivan Tchatchouwo, President and Founder of The Zone says. “I want the kids to know the circumstances that they start with can change, and for them to see people wanting to be there helping them is the start of something incredible.”