Club partners with city parks and rec department to mentor Columbia youth

A new club has been created by students in the Parks, Recreation and Tourism department at the University of Missouri. Sports for Growth is a service group that mentors Columbia youth in athletics. All that is required to join is a passion for service and sports.

A year ago, Dawon Baker, founder of Sports for Growth, was hoping to find a way for freshmen and sophomores to get more involved in their field of study. The idea behind Sports for Growth is to give students a way to volunteer and gain relevant experience while doing it. Parks, Recreation and Tourism majors must have 100 volunteer hours by the time of their graduation; this club helps them gain hours along the way.

Sports for Growth joins with Columbia Parks and Rec to help with youth events around the community. During the month of April, members will be out and about helping with a track meet.

Outside of athletics, Sports for Growth recently got the campus and community involved in a shoe drive. The 140 pairs of shoes were donated and then delivered to Soles4Souls, an organization that collects new and used shoes and clothes then distributes them to those in need in disadvantaged communities.

In the future, Baker would like to see the club grow and maintain a membership of around 30, and branch out to high schools around the area, as well as other Columbia sports leagues. He also hopes to see chapters formed at campuses across the country.

For more information on Sports for Growth, follow them on Twitter @sports4growth.

Tori Lock

About the Author Tori Lock

My name is Victoria Lock, coaches call me Lock, and most people just call me Tori. I am a freshman majoring in science and agriculture journalism at the University of Missouri. Carrollton, a small town in northwest Missouri, is the place that I call home. I am beyond excited to be writing for the Corner Post this spring as well as starting my career as a journalist!