Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI Celebrate Soccer for Success Graduation, Present Youth with Medals

Celebrating Success: More than four dozen members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence were  presented with medals on May 15 for graduating from the Soccer for Success program during an event at  Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s Providence headquarters.     Photo credit: Constance Brown

Celebrating Success: More than four dozen members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence were
presented with medals on May 15 for graduating from the Soccer for Success program during an event at
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s Providence headquarters.
Photo credit: Constance Brown

PROVIDENCE, RI – On Friday, May 15, more than four dozen members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence were presented with medals, signifying their successful completion of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program during an event at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s Providence headquarters.

Soccer for Success is a free after school sports-based youth development program created by the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Supported locally through a generous grant from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, the nationally-recognized program uses soccer as a tool to improve the health and behavioral outcomes of children in underserved, urban communities. More than 70 percent of Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence members come from economically-disadvantaged households.

“We could not be more grateful to Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island for their commitment to fighting childhood obesity and providing the resources we need to offer our youth high-quality physical activities and education on healthy eating,” said Nicole Dufresne, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence. “Without their support, this program would not have been possible.”

Through the program, children ages 6 to 14 took part in afterschool activities three times per week for 12 weeks. With a goal of improving participants’ overall health, Soccer for Success focused on helping youth increase strength, agility and endurance, while also incorporating healthy, nutrition education. During the program’s fall session, 55 percent of participating youth experienced a decrease in their Body Mass Index (BMI), while 81 percent of youth increased their aerobic capacity. Additionally, the program helped steer youth away from negative influences by providing a safe, nurturing environment to spend their after school hours, working with dedicated coach-mentors to develop important life skills that help them succeed in life.

“It’s our goal at Blue Cross to empower Rhode Island’s children with the tools and knowledge they need to develop healthy habits that will serve them well now, and in the future,” said Carolyn Belisle, Managing Director, Community Relations at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. “We are fortunate to partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence, who know how to make these important life lessons fun and engaging.  Their work will make a difference in reducing childhood obesity in our state and we appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with them. “

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence is “to enable and inspire children and youth, especially those from diverse or difficult circumstances, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, and healthy members of their community.” For 145 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence have provided a safe and positive environment for children and youth in the neighborhoods where they live. With the help of professionally-trained staff, the Boys & Girls Clubs offer guidance for the youth who need it most; resulting in immediate and long-lasting positive impact by helping to develop the self-esteem and skills needed to succeed. The Clubs are open afternoons, evenings, and weekends—times of the day when kids need them most.  For more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence, visit www.bgcprov.org.

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