Louisville couple creates youth football team to get Park Hill children off the streets
Through the power of positivity, a Louisville couple is trying to change the lives of those in one of the city’s roughest neighborhood.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Through the power of positivity, a Louisville couple is trying to change the lives of those in one of the city’s roughest neighborhood.
In January, Que and Ernest Sidney created Louisville Steelers Football and Cheer, an AYF (American Youth Football) team to give children in the Park Hill neighborhood a way to get off the streets.
The organization is solely funded by the Sidneys, who want to give children a better life than the lives they experienced growing up.
“This is where you can go with your life if you dream and you want more and you want bigger out of your life,” said Ernest Sidney, one of the founders and coaches.
For eight hours a week this summer, up to 100 children, ages five to 14, will practice football behind the Park Hill Community Center by learning drills, techniques and sportsmanship.
“We are valued in changing what the normal is for some kids," Que Sidney said. "And it has to start somewhere."
Many of the children in the Park Hill neighborhood have already experienced or seen violence on the streets first hand. The Sidney’s want the football organization to be a break from that, where they can improve their lives before they become adults.
“It breaks your heart, because some of these kids, sadly to say, become immune to death and the reality that comes from that lifestyle that is out here on the streets,” Ernest Sidney said.
Across the field, more than 25 girls practiced cheering for the football teams.
“I think it is important, because I get to be out with people, and I get to meet new friends,” said sixth grader and Park Hill resident Ja’mes Fugett.
The Sidneys said a proactive approach and guidance is what they hope will make their organization succeed. It’s what their players need and deserve
The teams will compete in different age brackets against other Metro Louisville teams throughout the summer.
"You’re going to make mistakes," Ernest Sidney said. "You’re going to mess up. But as long as you got people like us, the coaches and your parents that put you back on track, that is all that we can ask for."
The Louisville Steelers will have their first game July 14. For more information and funding for the team, click here.
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