We changed the name but the mission stayed the same. Since 1997 we have been enriching the lives of children through the sport of handball.
The backbone of the Fred Lewis Foundation for Youth Handball is its coaching staff. The five gentlemen lead by Head Coach Abraham Montijo, hold weekly practice sessions at Randolph Park and the Tucson Racquet Club. Abraham, Luis, Richie, and Angel grew up with the Yes 2 Kids program and have seen fit to give back and help perpetuate youth handball in Tucson, Arizona.
The children who participate in the Foundation’s programs range in age from 6-18. The less experienced are taught fundamentals at Randolph on Monday and Wednesday from 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM. They receive lots of individual guidance. The more experienced kids arrive at 7:00 PM and are put through a series of flexibility, agility, strength and cardiovascular exercises. From 7:30 PM until 8:30 PM they learn fundamental and advanced handball techniques from the core of instructors.
The Foundation rewards those that show dedication, drive, improvement and respect for the coaching staff with memberships to the Tucson Racquet Club. The kids are given the opportunity to interact with older and more experienced players. This results in improvement in their on- court game as well maturity in their off the court game of life.
The ultimate reward is the opportunity to compete in tournaments held in Tucson as well as other cities around the country. The Foundation has a travel budget of $30,000 per year with most of the events occurring during summer vacation, Christmas Break and Spring Break. Those who are selected to travel must show progress towards academic advancement with no failing grades.
A recent phenomenon has seen some of the parents becoming actively involved. They began to get the “itch” to play while observing how much fun their children were having. Currently there is a small group that has taken up the sport. (See the Jose Maldonado story). We are considering offering instruction for parents who wish to become more involved and have the opportunity to partake in an activity side by side with their children.