Reflecting on the Journey: From Seasonal Beginnings to Year-Round Impact

May 28, 2024
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When we first started 2-4-1 over 15 years ago, our off-season was really clear. Kerry and I were both working in schools, and we would start gearing up for the summer sometime around February or March, knowing we only had one or two weeks of programming on the horizon. In all honesty, as we were raising our children and immersed in the youth sport world, it felt incredibly busy and, in many ways, stressful.

As we conclude an incredibly busy May, I fully realize that 2-4-1 no longer has an off-season. While I still get folks who say, “Oh, you must be gearing up for summer,” I smile because we now have so many summer programs that it’s refreshing to know others are in charge at all of our locations, but it seems now we are as busy in January as we are in July.

As you will read in this month’s newsletter, we have been incredibly busy. We are wrapping up Spring programming in seven Hartford Public Schools and finishing up two programs in partnership with Active City Hartford at Bushnell Park. We have officially started programming at two schools in Kitwe, Zambia, and conducted new training for our educators in Nairobi, Kenya.

We have been interviewing well over 100 coaches to assist with our programs this summer, and we are excited to announce that the bill we testified for before the Connecticut state legislature earlier this year passed with bipartisan support. This legislation will act as a model for other states around the country, advocating for the proceeds of online sports gambling to go towards youth sport nonprofits.

In addition to this legislative success, we had a groundbreaking announcement from USA Fencing at this year’s Aspen Institute Project Play Summit. USA Fencing announced their partnership with us during an Olympic year, and if you haven’t seen the video of NFL All-Pro tight end Greg Olsen using our foils, please check it out below.

This month, we also hosted our second annual 2-4-1 Asics Blue Jean Mile, which was incredibly successful and has proven to be our biggest fundraiser of the year. The proceeds go directly to supporting programming for children in Hartford.

Amidst all this, we had the chance to do an interview with NBC Connecticut. They did a tremendous job putting together a story that really shows how we intersect social-emotional learning and sport. Check out the video below to see the full story.

CT nonprofit helps kids grow emotionally through sports

So, as we gear up for a summer where we will reach over 3,000 children across the globe, we are extremely grateful for those of you who have supported us along the way. This growth in our reach would not be possible without you. But we still have lots and lots of work to do. We are prepared, and our mission to put play back into sports and to teach children the benefits of play as it relates to connectedness and well-being keeps wind in our sails, as do you.

Thank you for being part of this incredible journey with us. Here’s to a summer full of play, growth, and positive impact!

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About Steve Boyle

Steve Boyle is a visionary leader and advocate for youth sports and physical literacy. As the Executive Director of 2-4-1 CARE, Inc. and Co-Founder/Director of 2-4-1 Sports, Steve stands at the forefront of the movement to transform the youth sports paradigm. His forward-thinking anti-specialization approach has garnered acclaim from esteemed institutions like the Aspen Institute. At the helm of 2-4-1, Steve has skillfully guided its expansion from its flagship location in West Hartford, Connecticut, to a range of locations across the U.S., Canada, and Africa. His leadership has not only scaled the program but also redefined the standards of youth sports Beyond the scope of 2-4-1 Sports, Steve’s influence extended to developing the National Association of Physical Literacy, where his insights as Advisory Board Chair were pivotal. His tenure as Global Lead on Physical Literacy and Athletics for Whittle School & Studios marked a significant contribution to the global community, shaping the athletic and physical education frameworks across campuses in Shenzhen and Washington, D.C. Steve is equally known for merging his expertise in counseling with his coaching acumen to create the TOP Self social-emotional learning platform. This innovative endeavor leverages sports to impart essential social-emotional learning skills, cementing Steve’s status as a national authority in physical literacy development.

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