Home » News » Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan Set to Reimagine Youth Sports, Saves Football and Cheerleading Season for Nearly 2,700 Youth-Athletes

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan Set to Reimagine Youth Sports, Saves Football and Cheerleading Season for Nearly 2,700 Youth-Athletes

  • Greater Metropolitan Youth Sports League will now be powered by Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan
  • BGCSM registered nearly 2,700 new members as part of partnership, ensuring youth-athletes are career, start up and homeowner ready by 18
  • Xenith, Blaise Contracting, Inc. and BGCSM invest over $100,000 to support league operations and activities

DETROIT – October 12, 2020 This fall, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) expanded their youth sports offerings through a new partnership with the Greater Metropolitan Youth Sports League (GMYS). The league kicked off with football and cheerleading which includes 11 teams and nearly 2,700 youth-athletes. Additionally, the league will offer sports activities, enrichment programs, and events designed to engage league participants all year round.

“I remember our youth and families begging us not to cancel their season.,” said LaKenya Burks, president of GMYS. “During one of the hardest times of their lives, BGCSM became not only a partner, but family as we worked to ensure youth stayed connected to coaches who provide them with social and emotional support. Both organizations have a common goal to develop youth athletically, academically, and socially. Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan bet on GMYS and we are so grateful.”

Like many nonprofit organizations, Greater Metropolitan Youth Sports, was in danger of losing its programs when their host organization made the announcement to cancel the fall season due to COVID-19. Greater Metropolitan Youth Sports leadership approached BGCSM about stepping in as a league partner.

“Greater Metropolitan Youth Sports League and their teams have served youth for over 50 years in Metro Detroit,” said Shawn H. Wilson, president & CEO of BGCSM. “They have a storied legacy of on the field excellence and connecting youth to caring adults who positively change their lives. Combining GMYS on the field expertise, with BGCSM’s goal of ensuring youth are career, startup and homeowner ready, we have the opportunity to reimagine youth sports across Southeastern Michigan.”

The partnership has three main areas of support, BGCSM will serve as the fiduciary and provide administrative support for GMYS; BGCSM will provide best-in-class education and enrichment programming to league youth; and GMYS team leadership will receive Ponyride co-working memberships and access to capacity training to help strengthen and grow their organizations.

Community stakeholders and companies including Xenith and Blaze Contracting Inc. joined forces with BGCSM and GMYS to donate more than $100,000 to support program operations and programming for the youth.

“We believe that everyone who wants to play football should have access to top-rated equipment,” said Ryan Sullivan, Xenith CEO. “The opportunity to partner with the BGCSM and GMYS allows us to deliver on our mission in a meaningful way – both on and off the field – in our hometown of Detroit.”

“Blaze Contracting is excited for this new partnership with BGCSM and GMYS,” said Kerlin Blaise, owner of Blaze Contracting, Inc. “As a former Detroit Lion’s player, I understand the important role youth sports played in helping me achieve my dreams to play in the NFL and become an entrepreneur. Youth sports helped me reach those goals and I want to ensure youth have that same opportunity and skill development to help them reach theirs too.”

BGCSM continues to be a safe space for youth amid the current pandemic, offering programs for youth of essential workers, summer camps and now fall learning pods. Strict safety measures are actively enforced during sports games and practices as well.

BGCSM looks to expand its sports league offerings to additional teams and site location across southeastern Michigan. To learn more about BGCSM visit www.bgcsm.org.


About Greater Metropolitan Youth Sports League

Greater Metropolitan Youth Sports was established in 2015 as a nonprofit organization designed to encourage athletic and scholastic endeavors in young people. Currently GMYS has an 11-team league that provides football and cheerleading to children ages 5-14 years old. GMYS teaches our youth the values of teamwork, good sportsmanship, dedication, and we encourage good academics. We are a large Michigan based league, with roughly 3000 youth enrolled in one of 11 teams and approximately 600 volunteers. Our goal is to promote the physical, mental and social development of children through the vehicle of sports.

About Xenith

Based in Detroit, Xenith creates top-rated football helmets, gear and apparel designed to elevate athletes to live their game. Their athlete-first design approach is backed by rigorous science, engineering, and innovation which transcends laboratory testing to address on-field needs. Xenith outfits the athlete from head to ankle in a suite of performance products for playing, training, and living.

All Xenith helmets are Five-Star on the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings, and in the “Top-Performing Group” of the NFL Lab Helmet Performance Testing. Xenith is committed to democratizing protection by making top-rated helmets, shoulder pads, and gear available at an equitable price point for anyone who wants to play football – from youth, to varsity, to the pros. To learn more about Xenith, visit xenith.com and follow on social media on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan  

Founded in 1926, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) has over 94 years of experience serving youth ages 6-18 by providing a safe, fun place that inspires, while offering high quality programs that provide real-world learning from caring adult mentors. Serving nearly 15,000 youth annually within eight Clubs throughout southeastern Michigan, BGCSM works every day to provide a world-class experience, empowering youth to become change agents through economic mobility. To learn more about BGCSM visit www.bgcsm.org and follow us on social media on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!



Media contact: Antonice Strickland, Antonice.strickland@bgcsm.org, (734) 812-4423