My son just wrapped up his soccer season with the 18th Ward’s Little Tykes program this month, and I want to tell you all about it!
It can be hard to find programming for toddlers, and we tried two other programs before a friend told me about 18th Ward. Luckily, when I looked into it after my friend’s recommendation, registration was still open. I secured his sport, and we eagerly awaited the start of the season.
We just finished the 6-week Spring season and here are a few reasons why it was the best fit for us.
Part of the mission of 18th Ward is to reduce barriers to participation in sports. As we all know, participating in extracurricular activities is a privilege many families cannot afford. With the cost of participation fees, uniforms, equipment, and travel the idea of participating in sports can quickly fade from being realistic for many. On top of that, if you have multiple kids, it can be impossible to afford. 18th Ward has made it its purpose to reduce many of these barriers and provide access to high-quality coaching and sports to all regardless of income, race, neighborhood, etc.
Sliding Scale Pricing
Let’s talk cost since this is usually the biggest hindrance to families looking to add a sport to their family’s activities. 18th Ward utilizes a unique sliding scale pricing system, making the program affordable to all. With the sliding scale pricing, families can all find a rate that works best for them. Participation starts as low as $5/season and can increase to up to $75 max for each season. There is also a set rate for families with multiple athletes.
My son participated in the 3-4 Little Tykes program giving toddlers exposure to sports. This was a great introduction for us. The coaching staff is phenomenal with this age range and the activities are aligned perfectly with their limited attention span.
For the Little Tykes toddler group, soccer and basketball are available. The Youth Sports Community is for ages 5-7 and introduces athletes to a range of sports throughout the year, including soccer, basketball, baseball, flag football, and track. The Recreational Sports Community is for ages 9-12. They have a soccer academy, baseball academy, basketball academy, and flag football academy and some offer a choice between the recreational program or the club route.
They did not forget about adults! They offer adult leagues at affordable rates to keep adults in shape and engaged in sports as well.
I was most impressed with the coaching. No less than 6 coaches were present at each of our practices, making the student-to-coach ratio super small. The attention to detail was superb. The ability to balance a group of toddlers and give attention when and where needed was much appreciated. The athletes rotate between warmups, group activities, and smaller group activities. My son is one who is slow to warm up to new situations, and he didn’t participate during the first class, at all. The coaching staff was so patient with helping him get warmed up. After his second class, he spent the following week asking when we were going back to soccer. By the end of the season, he felt like a real soccer star!
Thank you to Coach Orlando and each of the coaches present for our Sunday Little Tykes class! See you next season!