The non-profit organization San Antonio Sports said on March 8 that it had received a $350,000 grant from the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation to expand two free youth and community programs.
SAS officials said this is the largest one-year grant award the organization has ever received, and the new cash infusion will support the expansion of the group’s Fit Family Challenge from a 12-week summer program to full year, adding sites, classes, community rides and a mental health component.
The funding will also serve to expand I Play! Afterschool program in new school districts, potentially adding a new sport and providing a similar mental health component, SAS officials said.
“This funding will impact thousands of children and families in our community,” said Jenny Carnes, president and CEO of San Antonio Sports, in a statement. “Our mission is to transform our community through the power of sport, and this grant is transformative for the future of our organization and those we serve.”
According to SAS, the Fit Family Challenge was launched in 2010 and as a way for families to learn about health and fitness, eat right, and stay active with free weekly fitness classes and health assessments.
SAS officials said the Fit Family Challenge also features free 5K runs and is available to anyone living in Bexar County.
The nonprofit said the Fit Family Challenge specifically targets San Antonio neighborhoods identified as being at high risk for ongoing health issues for which remedies, such as the challenge, are addressing.
I play! The after-school program, according to SAS, provides skill-based instruction in soccer, basketball, volleyball and tennis to 1,500 third through sixth graders in more than 50 Title I schools in six school districts.
SAS officials said research shows children in this program have significantly less absenteeism, fewer disciplinary deferments, and higher academic achievement in reading and math than children who do not participate in the program.