Youth Education through Sports

Serving the community just became a lot more fun. Greater Cleveland Sports Commission's Urban Youth Initiative presented by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and The Sherwin-Williams Company relaunched our youth programming as Youth Education through Sports (YES). 

YES: Providing Northeast Ohio's underserved youth with experiences that illustrate how sports empower and prepare people for success in life. 

YES allows GCSC to continue our history of developing community impact programs to maximize the benefit of hosting sporting events in Cleveland. Over 12,700 Cleveland residents have participated in such programs since the GCSC was re-founded in 2000. 

YES Goals:

  • Provide children with an opportunity for physical activity
  • Allow access to unique experiences
  • Offer health and wellness education

Health and wellness education is provided by the University Hospitals Rainbow Safety Squad at each program. Children from the City of Cleveland’s 21 Recreation Centers are the primary beneficiaries of the Youth Education through Sports programming, and participation is by invitation only.

2017 Highlights

  • 239 children participated in 2017 programs 
  • 536 children received new bicycles, locks, helmets, and bicycle safety training over four years in the Earn-A-Bike program
  • 150 Cleveland residents participated in bicycle “fix-a-thons” at three recreation centers over three years
  • Seven inner-city recreation centers received a new set of beautifully designed bike racks

For more information, please contact Rebecca Griesmer at

Programs slated for 2018 include:

NCAA Division III Wrestling, Public Hall, Cleveland
Saturday, March 10th

  • 40 children (ages 10-13) will be invited to participate in a wrestling clinic and interact with athletes and coaches at the NCAA DIII Wrestling Championship
  • Health and wellness activities, lunch and admission to the tournament will be provided. 

NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Wednesday, March 14th 

  • 75 children (ages 8-12) will be invited to participate in a wrestling clinic and interact with athletes and coaches at the NCAA DI Wrestling Championship. 
  • Health and wellness activities and admision to the tournament on Saturday morning will be provided to active participants. 

MAC Baseball Championships, Sprenger Stadium, Avon
Friday, May 25th

  • 40 children (ages 9-14) will be invited to participate in activities surrounding the MAC Championship including a tour of the facility and informational sessions with current MAC coaches & athletes.
  • Health and wellness activities, lunch and admission to a collegiate game will be provided. 

USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals, Edgewater Park, Cleveland
Program begins - Tuesday, June 19th - 8 weeks out 
Two practices per week
USAT AGN - Saturday, August 11th 

  • 40 children (ages 10-14) will be invited to participate in a 8-week long training program to expose them to the multisport lifestyle through USA Triathlons' official Tri for Change program.
  • Participants will be provided training and coaching to complete activities around running, biking and/or swimming.
  • Lessons in health and wellness, sportsmanship and/or proper running techniques will be taught to the participants as they track their progress each week.
  • Athletes will then be invited to compete in the final wave of USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals on August 11th. 

NEOCycle Earn-A-Bike program

Bike Build – Friday, May 4th

Field Day – Friday, June 15th

Distribution Day – Friday, July 6th

Make-up Distribution Day – Friday, July 20th 

NEOCycle – Saturday, September 8th

  • Year five of the NEOCycle Youth Education through Sports will include many of the same elements as in years one through four. There will be 10 children (ages 8-12) from each City of Cleveland Recreation Center will be invited to participate in a Field Day kickoff on June 15th. They will complete two weeks of activities and benchmarks that include bike safety and education.
  • The top finishers in the program – up to 150 children total, will receive a new bicycle, helmet, and lock on the Distribution Day of July 13th. A make-up distribution day is scheduled for July 16th.
  • All children who receive a bike will be invited out to NEOCycle on Saturday, September 8th for additional  cycling and festival activities.

*All YES programming content and dates are subject to change*

With the help of foundations, corporate sponsors and community partners, YES can't lose!