Growing up with adversity, one of the things that drive you is the dream to accomplish something more. The idea that you can go on; do what you love on a daily basis and be more than whatever you dream to be, from an astronaut-to the president-even maybe a Major League Baseballprogram.
It is thanks to programs like the YMCA Jr. Mets that allow for inner city children to not only have that possibility of a dream, but give the future leaders great opportunities along the way. One such opportunity happened on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon at Marconi Park in Jamaica, Queens as Mets-stars Ruben Tejada and Justin Turner taught 50 children from the YMCA the idea of living out the dream through sports.
“YMCA Jr. Mets is a skills development clinic that allows children and opportunity to learn the different skills needed to be a sound student-athlete,” said Cedric Dew, the Executive Director of the Jamaica YMCA in an interview with 1495 Sports. “It is really more associated with a healthy lifestyle and as a reward for their efforts 50 children will have the opportunity to meet a couple of Mets players.”
Dew continued by saying, “The YMCA provides young people with a healthy lifestyle, while teaching them social responsibility and development. Everything that we do we commit to those values, even when we do sports programs we tie those variables into that.”
Tejada and Turner helped the Mets support the YMCA Jr. Mets program, combining with official sponsor Citibank who hopes to take this program to the next level. The duo conducted clinics to the eager learning children, along with taking time out for a question and answer session at the end.
“Today is special, most of the times we do these clinics at Citi Field-but today we have the opportunity to do it in these kids’ neighborhoods,” said Turner. “These kids come out and support us by coming out to our games so the least we can do is come out here and give back. Hopefully today they will have a better understanding of the basics of the game and hopefully inspire some of these kids to be future Mets.”
When asked about being a part of the program Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada had this to say, “It is great to be here today and to teach these children the basics of baseball. Hopefully after today we were able to help them.”
Not only did Tejada and Turner teach these kids the basics, but allowed them to dare to dream and achieve their dreams-something that was once given to Justin when he was younger.
“When I was a kid, I was just like everyone who is here today. I attended these camps and clinics,” said Turner. “For me to achieve my dreams and to be where I am today-for me it is nice to pass that message along.”
Athletics, which is one of many outlets that can help a child avoid whatever negatives that the world may provide helps to teach not only leadership but basic building blocks like teamwork and communication.
“Sports are one of those activities where it teaches you without telling you, said Dew to 1495 Sports. It engages you with other individuals who have a common goal. It conditions you by making you understand about preparation will be the thing that will get you to your objective.”
It not only does that but it opens up the door for dreamers-those who not only to aspire to be on the turf at Citi Field, but to become the future doctors and lawyers and leaders that will be a necessary part of all of our futures.
The official 1495 Sports photo gallery from the YMCA Jr. Mets program can be seen here:
Fans are also encouraged to check out 1495 Sports TV that has a video look from the day and thoughts from both Tejada and Turner by clicking the link below: