By: Isaiah S. Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist/’What’s Good’ Host
BRIDGETON, N.J. — The art of competition is not lost on the city of Bridgeton especially when it comes to the President of the Cumberland County Youth Sports Organization (CCYSO) Robbi Ford. She thrived in athletics and wants to share the wealth with the youth of Bridgeton by training them for track season.
“When I was young, I ran track,” said Ford. “My mom kept us busy all the time. I had children of my own, and I had to keep them busy, and they played football. But the one thing I had an issue with was traveling, so I wanted to bring things back to this area, and track is one of them.”
Ford founded the CCYSO in 2019, but not without assistance from a friend Zikea Wise-Hughes who is head coach. They both wanted to bring track to the children of Bridgeton because track is something that they both love and thought the kids can use it as a tool for development. Debunking a narrative that talent scouts don’t come to Bridgeton, and nobody cares about Bridgeton is a priority for Ford and Hughes and, with over 50 youth registered for track ranging from ages 4 to 16, reinforces that talent can be found and is being cultivated on the track in Bridgeton.
“When I first came out with Ms. Robbi, I saw everything she was putting into it, and I said I’ve got to be a part of that,” said Hughes. “We grew bigger and better, became AAU, and we’re doing so many great things now”
Bridgeton High School is the training ground for the CCYSO, and they learn javelin, discus, and train for the 400-meter race. Volunteers are emphasized when talking with Ford or Vice President of the CCYSO Shantai Hollis. They need help with registration, transportation, food, and the bare necessities and every little bit helps especially from the community the organization represents. Even if parents and care givers have a fraction of experience running track your presence is much appreciated.
South Jersey, visit ccyso1.com and see about contributing to this organization that keeps the kids focused on becoming their best selves and keeps them out of mischief.
Jada Harris, a youth leader of the CCYSO who benefits from the organization said, “I look at all my coaches like my mom and my teammates as my family, my little brothers and little sisters.”
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