November 20, 2019

First Community Conversation on Capacity Building

One of the focus areas for Project Play WNY is building the organizational capacity to support high-quality youth sports organizations.  This is done by strengthening the skills, processes and resources within organizations to enable them to be more effective and sustainable.

2019 has been a busy year for Project Play WNY with the launch of numerous pilot strategies to ensure kids are not priced out, pushed out or burnt out of youth sports.

On Nov. 16, Project Play WNY hosted its first Community Conversation that featured strategies for capacity building. The event, entitled “How limited is your youth sports organization’s legacy?” was held at the Canisius College Science Center and featured several keynote speakers.

Chris Price, President of Life Sports Solutions, led a discussion on key questions to help build a stronger youth sport organization. He emphasized the importance of not being a child’s last coach.  “A winning record doesn’t make you a winning coach,” he said.

Rob Smith, Founder and Executive Director of the Youth Sports Collaborative Network, discussed the importance of networking and how it can help strengthen youth sports organizations. He presented strategies for growing a network.

Roy Kessel, Founder of the Sport Philanthropy Network, discussed sport and philanthropy and how to connect sources to funding.

Breakout sessions followed the presentation, where participants could take advantage of Q&As in smaller group settings with the speakers. Also joining that portion of the event were Dr. Darren Treadway and Peter Sorgi, who reviewed a “Legacy Check-Up” checklist with attendees.

Over the next 12 months, Project Play WNY will be hosting seminars and community conversations with the goal of empowering Western New York youth sports organizations to have a positive impact on our area’s youth. Visit and follow Project Play WNY on social media for the latest information on upcoming Community Conversations.