Despite the tremendous degree of uncertainty, hardship, and conflict surrounding COVID-19. What has remained clear is Beat the Streets’ commitment to provide effective youth development. As an organization, we are just as, if not more engrossed than we once were prior to the pandemic. Our full-time staff is working tirelessly to provide the much needed support for kids at this time.

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Our strong virtual presence has only become more visible due to the pandemic. With Instagram fitness initiatives, Facebook team chats, Zoom workouts, and Google hangout dinners, we are developing creative ways to keep our kids engaged. Our nationwide Million Minutes/ No Mat No Problem exercise campaign has sustained impressive levels of momentum. The Providence community alone has accounted for nearly 160,000 of the 12 participating cities’ 1,011,291 minutes of physical, social-emotional, and mental challenges via social media.

We created the Million Minutes Challenge because we wanted the Beat the Streets youth to stay healthy and in shape during quarantine. One million minutes of physical/mental activity was a lofty goal, but through hard work and dedication we were able to surpass that number over Memorial Day weekend with the help of our virtual marathon. In place of the cancelled Providence Marathon, we held a virtual marathon to help spread awareness about our program’s unwavering mission. Also World-class athletes, coaches, and motivational speakers are doing AMA’s (ask me anything), interactive Q & A’s, and live workout series’ weekly to continue to inspire our youth. We are also currently in the process of safely delivering sanitized physical Zoom invites to our student-athletes in a mailbox program that lets kids know we are still thinking about them. 

Our coaches have provided an additional 22,000 minutes of additional support without pay to have individual team meetings that focus on goal setting, mini workouts, and social-emotional check ins. In addition to this, we’ve hired a team of high school girls junior coaches who are currently in our girls wrestling program. They underwent a comprehensive interviewing process and were offered several professional development and training modules on SafeSport coaching methodologies. This will be a valuable asset for BTS, and they will run programming for our middle school and high school wrestlers by way of Zoom and social media. Our intention is to bolster our presence within the lives of Providence youth and rise to the occasion instead of abandoning our next generation of great leaders!