CCF’s pilot CAMBRIDGE WINS funds 23 youth programs

$18K in Sports Equity Grants support local summer sports

September 1, 2022 | Cambridge, MA

The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) has awarded 23 CAMBRIDGE WINS Sports Equity Grants to support local summer sports programs providing healthy, team-building activities for all youth and addressing inequities in access and opportunity in Cambridge. Newly created in partnership with CCF Advisors and Cambridge natives Joe Bradlee and Matt Meyersohn, the Foundation’s CAMBRIDGE WINS initiative awarded $18,000 to city agencies, nonprofit programs, and local coaches and sports enthusiasts across the city who are offering programs that engage and inspire youth in their community.

“As the foundation of and for all of Cambridge, we know sports to be a great connector that can stitch together our community, create a ‘level playing field’, and open-up new possibilities for Cambridge youth,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation. “We’d like to thank each coach, athlete, and community leader supported by these grants for sparking energy and ambition in our young people.”

The 23 grant recipients reach neighborhoods all across our city and range from basketball and dodgeball tournaments to little league baseball to a weekend flag football league that empowers young women. Many are passionate athletes and coaches who gave summer clinics as a way to give back to their communities – and who so often fund their efforts out of pocket.

“When we started this fund, we thought about the kids who spent so much time inside during COVID, and about the many unsung heroes in our community who volunteer their time to impact kids’ lives through healthy activities and sports,” said Joe Bradlee. “It’s important for these community leaders to have the resources they need to make a difference. The WINS program is still young, and we look forward to continuing to grow it.”

CAMBRIDGE WINS will be planning additional activities throughout the year and is looking for like-minded people to get involved.

CCF Advisors Bradlee and Meyersohn took inspiration from Nelson Mandela, who said, ‘Sports has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.’ In addition to supporting physical and mental wellbeing, bolstering confidence, and inspiring leadership, sports activities can also be a place where children and youth can connect across socio-economic lines, which can have an impact on upward economic mobility according to a new study published this summer and reported in the New York Times.

Cambridge natives and rising college sophomores Anna Betancourt and Mia Galante used their grant to support their first free pre-season training to young athletes at Russell Field, targeting those who couldn’t afford club soccer.

“I owe it to give back to the community that helped me get where I am,” said Anna, who studies at Harvard University and plays club soccer. “We’re trying to bring people from all over – whether you’re from an upper class or live in public housing, it doesn’t matter on the soccer field. Sports create a space where youth can put problems aside; where there are no language barriers; where you are just a community of friends. Not to mention that being part of a team widens your social circle, instills accountability, and teaches you commitment.”

The organization Cann I Strive, founded by lifelong Cambridge resident and social worker Frantz Pierre, is using its grant to host a field day at Donnelly Field September 24 called “Community Over Competition,” aimed at building bridges and connections in our city.

“The goal is to bring the community together through sports so kids and families can get to know our community service professionals, especially police officers, in a different light,” Frantz said. “Sports are a release – when you’re playing on the field, you forget your problems for a bit. We see we’re all humans who need to express themselves.”  

CCF is grateful to a team of community volunteers who reviewed applications for its Sports Equity Grants: Joe Bradlee, Martin Cafasso, City Councillor Marc McGovern, Matt Meyersohn, Michael Monestime, and Megan Willette.

To learn more about CAMBRIDGE WINS and how you can get involved, please visit: https://cambridgecf.org/cambridge-wins

List of Summer 2022 CAMBRIDGE WINS grant recipients:

  • Achieving Goals: $500
  • Basketball c: $500
  • Beast Basketball Training: $500
  • Cambridge Babe Ruth: $1,000
  • Cambridge Baby Falcons: $500
  • Cambridge Girls Youth Softball: $500
  • Cambridge Pop Warner Football: $1,000
  • Cambridge Youth Flag Football League: $1,000
  • Cambridge Youth Summer Baseball: $1,000
  • Cann I Strive: $500
  • CRLS Girls Soccer: $1,000
  • East End House: $1,000
  • Eastern Mass Kingz: $500
  • Friday Night Hype: $1,000
  • Gold Star Pool (Cambridge Recreation): $1,000
  • Ladies Invitational Team Enterprise (L.I.T.E): $500
  • North Cambridge Little Baseball League: $1,000
  • Outback Summer Program (Agassiz Baldwin Community): $1,000
  • Pink Sunday Youth Girls Program: $1,000
  • Roll Bounce: $500
  • St. Peter’s CYO Basketball: $1,000
  • Summer Parks Program (Cambridge Recreation): $1,000
  • We Got Next: $500