Homecoming for Weinland Park sports program which aims to protect children, away from violence

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Columbus youth sports league said it is doing its part as calls from the community to stop the violence grow louder.

Leaders of the Weinland Park Wildcats are trying to set an example for their children, and Sunday marked a homecoming celebration for the league.

Sunday’s celebration at Weinland Park brought together coaches and parents in support of the children, saying it was about more than what’s happening on the pitch and what’s happening in the park.

“During football and basketball seasons, we try to manage these programs and keep the kids together, just having a different outlet for them besides running around the streets,” said Weinland organizer Terryl Hogans. Park Wildcats.

The Weinland Parks Wildcats Youth Initiative invites kids ages 8-13 to participate in soccer, basketball, and cheerleading. And on Sunday, the league staged its return matches.

Organizers said it takes a village to raise a child and this is their way of helping.

In recent years and as recently as this month, violence in city parks has resulted in the loss of young lives. An 8-year-old girl was shot and injured and an 18-year-old woman was cut in a fight at Weinland Park in May. Last week Lovely Kendricks, 15, was shot and killed during a fight in Franklin Park on Monday. Another child, 13-year-old Sinzae Reed, was killed in a shooting in the Hilltop neighborhood on Wednesday.

Weiland Park Wildcats leaders want the league and its activities to be safe spaces for children and their families.

“It gives my son responsibility, so it teaches him discipline and it keeps him focused on other things than the things that are going on around him,” parent Mario Jordan said.

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