The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) today announced the release of its Dodgers RBI Impact Report titled “5 Years Strong.” The report aggregates data illustrating the impact of LADF’s Dodgers RBI youth baseball and softball program since its inception in 2014. During that time, LADF has invested over $4 million in programming and resources across 69 locations, including three public housing developments. Youth participation increased from 2,700 in 2014 to 9,300 at the end of the 2018 season. Communities include Compton, East Los Angeles, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Long Beach, Lynwood, Northeast Los Angeles, South Los Angeles and Watts. The full report can be viewed online at Dodgers.com/DodgersRBI.
2018 findings include:
“LADF is proud to release the results and outcomes generated by our Dodgers RBI program,” said Nichol Whiteman, Executive Director, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. “Each year, we implement a full program measurement and evaluation process. This system is multifaceted and directly informs our team and partners of best practices, as well as the impact made in communities and in participants’ lives. This year’s report highlights not only 2018 program results, but summarizes the rich and meaningful impact that has been accomplished since the program launched in 2014.”
In the true spirit of sports based youth development, Dodgers RBI participants have made significant developmental gains each year in the areas of teamwork, building social support systems, sportsmanship, self-confidence, and feelings of safety. Dodgers RBI is intentionally designed to value the development of youth participants over winning. Via coaches training, league structure, parent engagement, and the elimination of barriers to participation, Dodgers RBI creates opportunities for youth to foster supportive relationships with adults and peers, build social and emotional skills, and to feel safe in a fun environment. Over 1,200 coaches have received training in positive coaching and motivation since 2015.
“It’s amazing to see the new parents perk up and pay attention when we mention all the fantastic special events and programs offered by Dodgers RBI,” said Gia Ghadimian at Jesse Owens Park in South LA. “They thought they just came out to hear about baseball, and all of a sudden, there is opportunity for free health checks, education/literacy programs, money habits seminars, Dodger (community) Days, and (annual celebration) Playerfest.”
LADF commissioned a study on youth baseball access and participation in Los Angeles in 2013, which cited significant barriers to youth baseball and softball participation in South Los Angeles including poor quality fields, a lack of quality coaching, high enrollment fees, high costs for appropriate equipment, and limited resources for agencies facilitating recreational programs. In response, Dodgers RBI was deployed in 2014 in partnership with municipal recreation entities and local nonprofits. LADF targeted communities that presented the most significant need; creating access to the sport for those who otherwise would have none.
“The impact report includes information gathered from focus groups, field interviews and a number of surveys conducted over the program cycle,” said James Lopez, LADF Manager, Strategy and Impact. “This data collection process helps us stay attuned to the communities we serve and assess the effectiveness of the program. It’s much more than a bunch of survey results and numbers. We have been able to capture valuable stories and testimonies from youth that have directly benefited from the program.”
Moving forward, LADF will focus on moderate growth, quality education, health, and recreation programming, providing enriched player and coach development training and resources, and the development of a youth leadership and college access resource for youth in middle school and high school.