What is BTS?
Beat the Street Bay Area looks to follow the example of other BTS programs --- BTS NYC launched 10 years ago and now has grown to more than 150 programs serving 1,500 boys and girls and BTS Los Angeles launched 6 years ago and now serves over 1,000 girls and boys.
The BTS Bay Area strategy is straightforward – use wrestling as tool to help young men and women develop goal-oriented mindsets through on the mat programming as well as their full academic potential through off the mat resources, including a year-round mentoring program.
There are countless kids that can benefit from having a stable, positive after-school wrestling experience in Oakland and the rest of the Bay Area. Using the proven BTS National strategy, we plan to create inclusive programming to provide a supportive forum for girls and boys to increase their self-esteem and self-discipline, develop their personal motivation, and cultivate resilience through the sport of wrestling. We will help our athletes mature into self-confident, responsible, and engaged citizens who are eager to live productive lives and become contributing members of their communities.
Launch of the Initial Oakland Programs.
In 2018, Oakland Unified School District (“OUSD”) decided to eliminate 10 high school sports, including wrestling. Private donations and fast action reversed this decision, but it was a close call. We have signed an agreement with OUSD to support and expand on their high school wrestling programs and launch middle school wrestling in the district. We have begun by introducing wrestling at two new Oakland Middle Schools, Westlake and Montera, and providing resources to high school wrestling programs. We hope to grow to 10 programs in 2020 and 15 programs in 2021 throughout the Bay Area but will need your help.
Quality Coaching, Mentoring and Life Skills
To make our BTS programs successful, our focus will be providing each program with paid and trained coaches, assistant coaches, and school liaisons with a focus on positively impacting the life of each student in the program. BTS will cover all of the costs for each student (e.g., shoes, headgear, knee pads, and USA Wrestling cards) in a positive safe environment. In addition to a spring season, we expect to offer student athletes summer camp learning opportunities and other year round programming, including visits to colleges and employers in the Bay Area. Our coaches will be trained to work with marginalized students and build their character and self-esteem, and to build healthy relationships with adults and peers.
Our goal will be to offer student athletes trained mentors to help with questions and issues not answered in the classroom.
Coaching Committee and Partnerships
One of the goals of BTS is to get all stakeholders in the community to support our efforts. To this end, we have formed a coaches committee, which currently includes head coaches from Stanford, San Francisco State, and Menlo College. We are hoping with the help of our amazing local coaches we can further train and help Bay Area wrestling and the quality of our programs.
Lastly, one of our key goals is to partner with local community groups and businesses who want to serve and help Bay Area youth. If you think you know a local community group or local business who would want to help, please contact us.