Olney: Coaches Teach Young Players More Than Just Football
The youths of Philadelphia are growing up in dangerous times. The city’s 2013 Youth Violence Prevention Plan states that, “Over the past six years, 5,051 young Philadelphians ages 14 to 24 have been shot or killed.”
The coaching staff of the Olney Eagles tries to keep their players away from violence by giving them a safe, supportive environment to have fun, learn teamwork and overcome challenges.
Just in the past five years, Olney has had 1,871 violent crimes and 4,678 property crimes. In the same period, Chestnut Hill – one of the safer parts of the city – has seen 78 violent crimes and 1,269 property crimes.
The FBI defines violent crime as murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Limited resources in urban school systems contribute to the lack of access to extracurricular activities. Philadelphia’s high poverty rate means that many adolescents don’t have the means to enroll in private programs outside of school. Nationwide, two out of every five black children are living in poverty, according to the Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report.
– Text, images and video by Phylandra McFaddin