LEADERSHIP: Sports4Kids provides athletic opportunities for underserved youth

15-year-old Arden Pala made it his mission to empower low-income kids through sports.
Sports4Kids group photo
Posted at 1:40 PM, Jun 10, 2024

A local teenager is using his love for sports to improve the lives of low-income kids who are facing homelessness. As ABC 10News reporter Steve Smith tells us, the nonprofit Sports4Kids provides a brighter future through physical activity.

Arden Pala is not your typical 15-year-old high school freshman. While he does like to play sports, video games and hang out with friends, he is also the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Sports4Kids.

"What this means is we want to help youth volunteers empower the youth and give back to the community," Pala says.

So what is sports for kids? It's a program focused on providing athletic opportunities for low income and homeless youth.

On a June day, the kids at Perkins Elementary had the chance to learn how to play rugby, a sport most of them had never heard of.

"I know these kids are having a lot of fun, and it's a very rewarding feeling knowing I can make a difference," Pala says. "And we do this through our two programs, which is coming out to schools like this one and hosting free sport clinics where youth volunteers can help coach and assistant coach."

Pala says the idea for Sports4Kids came about when a school principal told him they were letting go of their athletics coach due to budgets cuts.

"I was just getting into basketball at the time and i knew how much basketball affected my life. I became more physically active, more confident, and I was an overall happier person," he says. "So knowing these kids wouldn't have that same opportunity kind of pulled on my heart strings."

Sports4Kids also provides young kids the opportunity to volunteer and give back to their communities

"I know many think youth do community service for the volunteer hours, but some youth are genuinely interested in helping out the community, and I think if our community empowers the youth more, those kids will be able give back and help out their communities more."

For Arden Pala's commitment to helping low-income kids through sports, he's our ABC 10news Leadership Award winner for the month of June. To learn more about Sports4Kids, head to their website.