Local Youth Join Austin Law Enforcement Officers for Multi-Sport Mentoring Clinics

Austin Police Department and USA Track & Field Olympians Michelle Carter and Kori Carter to mentor at Ripken Foundation clinics

Press release - Austin, TX (March 22, 2019) – The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, Group1001, and Olympians Michelle Carter and Kori Carter hosted two events this week that aim to reshape the relationship between law enforcement and local children using sports to build bridges and keep children active and healthy.  The events, both hosted at LBJ Early College High School, welcomed more than 150 children from the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Austin Area (BGCAA) and local Badges for Baseball program participants.

On Tuesday, March 19, with guidance from members of the Austin Police Department, youth participated in Badges for Baseball programming, including Quickball, a fast-paced, easy to learn version of baseball, as well as law enforcement presentations. Badges for Baseball is a juvenile crime prevention program created by the Ripken Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice that pairs police and children together to play and learn in communities across the country. In 2018, Badges for Baseball impacted over 40,000 at-risk youth in 381 communities with help from 2,692 law enforcement officers and other professional youth mentor.

This morning, Olympians Michelle Carter and Kori Carter contributed to the mentorship initiative with a track & field clinic that included a variety of stations for youth and law enforcement to participate in as well as a Q&A session. The Badges for Baseball and track & field clinics in Austin were made possible thanks in part to Group1001, who partnered with the Ripken Foundation last year and provided a generous $5 million donation. The donation will be used to build a total of ten Youth Development Parks over five years in ten cities across the country, including the upcoming BGCAA Park in Austin, as well as support various Ripken Foundation programs.

“Through the power of sports we’ve been able to teach life lessons, build relationships, and improve communities this week, and that’s worth celebrating. Thanks to the support from our partners, we’ve been able to make an impact on children throughout the state of Texas using sports-themed programs, STEM Centers, and Youth Development Parks,” said Steve Salem, president and CEO of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.  “We’re extremely grateful for that support and we can’t wait to watch these programs grow throughout the area.”

The Ripken Foundation has been present in Austin since 2011 to bring its baseball- and softball-themed programming to at-risk or underserved youth. Last year, the Ripken Foundation opened a STEM center at the BGCAA and completed KCCO Ability Field, an adaptive Youth Development Park which provides a safe space for children to play at Bridge Community Church in 2014. The Ripken Foundation has built two more Youth Development Parks throughout the state, including Harriet and Joe Foster Field and SpringSpirit Youth Sports and Education Complex in Houston.

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Photos from the clinics (photo credit: Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation)


About the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation

For the last 18 years, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has worked tirelessly to implement youth development programs and create parks that directly address the problems facing at-risk youth in distressed communities across the country. Inspired by one of the most iconic baseball families, the Ripkens created the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to honor the legacy of its family patriarch, longtime coach, and mentor, Cal Ripken, Sr. The Ripken Foundation uses sports-themed activities to bring police officers, youth partners and underserved kids ages 9 – 14 together on a level playing field to learn invaluable life skills.

The Ripken Foundation’s Youth Development Park Initiative creates clean, safe places for kids to play on multipurpose, synthetic surface fields that promote healthy living in an outdoor recreational facility. Since 2009, the Ripken Foundation has 82 completed parks across the country in 22 states.  In 2018, the Ripken Foundation impacted over 1.5 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Park and mentor programs. For more information, visit www.RipkenFoundation.org. Follow @CalRipkenSrFdn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About Group1001

Group1001 is a customer-centric insurance holding company with combined assets under management of approximately $37 billion as of December 31, 2017. We are reimagining the insurance industry experience in ways that empower people financially and help them live better lives.  Our mission as a group is to make insurance more useful, intuitive and accessible so everyone can get the most value from their money.

Group1001 believes education and sports have the power to transform communities. We partner with Fields & Futures and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to revitalize sports fields in communities across the country, to provide safe and nurturing spaces for young people in the communities we serve.  Group1001 also sponsors the Power of Sports, which celebrates powerful stories of people and organizations connecting through sports while driving positive social change for children and communities across the U.S.

For more information about Group1001, please visit us at Group1001.com.


Katie O’Hara  Maroon PR/CRSF   443-745-5028     Kohara@MaroonPR.com         

Katy Ford       Maroon PR/CRSF   443-695-8099     Katy@MaroonPR.com