The Thunderbirds began nearly a century ago with the mission to promote the Valley of the Sun through sport. These days, the primary sport used to raise money for charity and create Scottsdale tourism interest from all over the world is golf, specifically the Waste Management Phoenix Open. But, as we see in this installment of In the Community Conversations, the impact of The Thunderbirds – and their charitable giving arm Thunderbirds Charities – is a positive impact on all kinds of sports, coaches and youth in our communities.
Scott Jenkins, 2021 WM Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman, recently sat down with Rich Tomey, Executive Director of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) to discuss the impact of the current health crisis on their organization and youth sports in general and how they’ve continued their mission of creating positive, character-building youth sports environments without direct, in-person contact.
“With no school, no sports, no nothing in a lot of states, we had to change the way we do things,” said Tomey. “A lot of kids and coaches are dealing with the disappointment of not playing and we’re trying to keep people together. We had to utilize a lot of technology through Zoom and other methods and become a leader in that aspect of training.”
Tomey then spoke about the importance of using sports to teach life lessons and how those lessons help children and young adults through their critical and formative years.
“Roughly 70 percent of kids typically drop out of sports right at that 13 or 14-year-old mark,” said Tomey. “That’s the tipping point of high school and middle school. So, someone who is coming from middle school going into high school loses out on great life lessons right when they need them the most.”
Like almost all nonprofits, Positive Coaching Alliance relies heavily on donations from the community.
“Without the support of Thunderbirds Charities and other donations over the years, we would definitely not be as impactful as we have been,” said Tomey. “Honestly, without the support of the community, we wouldn’t be able to be as impactful as we are. We’re extremely grateful to Thunderbirds Charities.”
To learn more about PCA, VISIT THEIR WEBSITE.
To donate to PCA, CLICK HERE.