Challenger is using sport to positively impact the lives of disadvantaged children in the US and overseas, who otherwise may never be given the same opportunities that other children take for granted.
The Challenger Foundation is working to bring professional, educational, and impactful soccer programs to underprivileged youth of all age groups. These programs help to foster and promote healthy living habits at a young age, by engaging kids in regular physical activity, and involving local parents in coaching and support roles.
Professional coaching, mentorship, and the involvement in team play through these programs would also foster development in life and social skills, communication, and responsibility. In addition to health and developmental education.
Future plans also include introducing additional sports and creating academic support programs.
CHALLENGER FOUNDATION PLAN
The initial goal is to engage middle school aged students in locally based fully funded camp programs, and then to set up local after school soccer coaching programs in each market. Beginning with a pilot program in Wyandotte County, Challenger plans to expand this programming next year throughout Kansas City KS and Kansas City MO, and also duplicate the model in our other major markets.
The program would help engage children in positive and healthy sports activities during traditionally at risk hours, and would help build a culture of personal growth and achievement while developing young people with strong character and good values who can become the future leaders in each community.
Provide a fully funded summer camp that would help bring attention to and launch the program in each local community. (Boys & Girls grades 6-8)
Set up local community after school Soccer Programs for players of all abilities (Boys & Girls ages 5-18)
Duplicate camp programs and after school coaching nationwide
Create organized teams for local in house play (Boys & Girls ages 6-16)
Create competitive teams who would travel to local leagues (Boys & Girls ages 10-18)
Provide opportunities for competitive teams to participate in local, regional, national tournaments
Provide opportunities for competitive players and teams to travel and compete overseas.
Programs would be staffed by both qualified international coaches who would also train local coaches to help sustain the program and to create a stronger bond with the local community.
The long term vision would be to establish a permanent physical base for each academy where educational and pastoral support can be provided to the children and the members of the clubs can be involved in community give-back programs.
CHALLENGER SPORTS COMPANY MISSION
When the original founders created Challenger Sports in 1997 their vision was to “ignite a passion for sports in all children.” As the company started to grow with complementary services (and divisions), each new entity was only added if the original vision could be achieved. As the years passed this vision morphed into a slogan management used to clarify exactly what this vision means. Today “PUTTING SMILES ON KIDS’ FACES” is the motto used whenever we feel we need to refocus on why we operate our various businesses.
COMPANY PHILOSOPHY – BASED ON OUR CORE BELIEFS
C – Child and employee safety is essential in everything we do. This is one of the few rules all employees must adhere to especially for those staff working with children in our programs or staff that work in the warehouse and print shop.
H – Honesty, integrity and trust; I will not lie, steal or cheat nor tolerate those who do. Say only things about fellow employees you will say to their face; be quick to admit mistakes, apologize and work out how not to make them again; have a candid relationship with fellow employees and your supervisor.
A – All for one and one for all. We’re not a ‘family’ but a ‘team’ – not a kid’s rec team but more like a professional sports team. We ask Challenger management to hire and develop talented people so we have stars in every position.
L – Leadership by good example. Take responsibility for your own actions. We find responsible people do not need to be told what to do. They show this by being; self-motivating, self-disciplined, self-improving. Examples include: finding more work to do when one task ends; not wasting time cruising the internet; picking up trash lying on the floor; keeping equipment used in common areas clean such as sinks and microwaves.
L – Laughing, smiling happy faces. We do things within the company to make it a good place to work and hopefully put smiles on employee’s faces. Examples are: company breakfasts, pot luck dinners, Christmas parties, end of year reward trips, etc. We feel this not only helps with ‘team’ spirit but also helps us attract and retain talented employees.
E – Everyone plays. There are no superstars or benchwarmers in this company. We are all co-workers. No job is unimportant. Treat everyone with the same respect and friendliness. Help each other reach excellence.
N – Never give up. Hard work comes with the job. Staff are measured by the work they accomplish, not the number of hours they work, although even the most talented of people seem to need to put in long hours to achieve success. Life tends to be ‘80% perspiration and 20% inspiration’ not the other way around.
G – Goal driven….not rules or policy driven. Remember our goal is to ‘put smiles on kid’s faces’ and no person wants to hear we cannot do something because it is ‘company policy’. Try to keep rules and policies to a minimum as talented employees have the common sense to know what is best in most situations.
E – Excellence in all. Whatever your role, accuracy and attention to detail is paramount to every part an employee plays in the delivery of our services to clients.
R – Resource number one…our staff. Like every company we try to hire talented people. We ask of them: Be positive, Be on time, Be a team player.
Challenger also plans to develop year-round coaching programs in these communities where coaches can positively impact the lives of children on a daily basis helping them improve their skills and self-confidence, and also to help them learn what it means to play the Challenger way, with Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship & leadership.