// Dreams Come True for Aspiring Gymnast

Twelve-year-old Sienna is outgoing, funny, and always fun to be around. You’ll often seen her doing impromptu dance routines, poses or stretches while participating in the Hacienda CDC after-school program. So it was no surprise that when Hacienda Program Lead Maria Escalera noticed her antics, she encouraged Sienna to hone her innate abilities. She jumped at the chance to take advantage of an Off the Sideline gymnastics scholarship.

Not only has Sienna benefited from the social and health benefits of active participation in sports, her gymnastics teacher sees athletic potential. “She’s so respectful and focused, and such a fast learner. I can really see how beneficial her training has been!”

​​​​​// adidas: She Breaks Barriers

In the U.S., only 4% of sports coverage is dedicated to female athletes. adidas recently launched the She Breaks Barriers initiative to elevate women in sports. Girls around the world are facing barriers to sport. From lack of media coverage to opportunity gaps and restrictive stereotypes, these challenges make it harder for girls to access and excel in sports.

The She Breaks Barriers initiative strives to keep girls engaged in sport so they have the confidence, teamwork and leadership skills they need to succeed on and off the field of play. The initiative strives to:

  1. Provide better access to sport for women and girls
  2. Remove gender stereotypes
  3. Address inequality experienced by female athletes at all levels and all ages

Join us in supporting adidas in their efforts!

​​​// Keeping a Team Together

In addition to individuals, Off the Sideline also funds entire teams to get kids in the game. 

Kelly Elementary School
When Bernadette Diepenbrock started teaching at Kelly Elementary School, she soon learned it was a special place with dedicated teachers and and a diverse student population. So she asked herself what she could do to benefit the students and the community. The answer: basketball. When she asked who wanted to play, she was excited when 15-25 students from each grade class added their names to the list. Off the Sideline not only sponsored the boys and girls fifth-grade spring teams, but also helped them play summer league!

Roosevelt Youth Track
This team of talented sixth-through-eighth graders from four North Portland middle schools qualified for the Oregon Track & Field State Championships, and they needed money to get them there. Thanks to our funding, this team not only made it to the meet, but with more than 100 teams competing the Roosevelt Youth girls nabbed fourth place in the team scores, with the 
boys coming in at 14th place.

Our Stories

Thanks to our community partners and sponsors, since 2016 Off the Sideline has provided more than 500 scholarships, boosting youth participation in team sports. Most played on an organized team for the first time. Here are few of their stories. 

​​​​​​​// Finding Consistency Through Sports 

A resilient child from a single-parent household, Terrence is an eighth grader at Ockley Green Middle School we learned about through our community partner Self Enhancement, Inc.

Terrence fell in love with basketball at a very young age, and has played on high-level teams since elementary school. Even though the sport has been one of the most consistent things in his life, participating in basketball this season was threatened due to the increasing cost of playing. While typically a 3.0 or higher student, he began to stress about his future in basketball, concerned that he would be forced to sit out on the sideline for the first time since he started playing ball.

That’s when SEI stepped in to help Terrence apply for Off the Sideline financing. With his basketball fee paid for, he now can continue to perfect his skills on the court and participate in the thing he loves to do most. Without the support of community partner SEI and Off the Sideline, Terrence would not have been able to participate one of the things that has never let him down.

As SEI’s Monique Shellmire says, “Your support has provided a positive impact on Terrence’s grades, mindset and overall happiness and well being. Thank you, Off the Sideline!”

​​​​​​// Building a New Passion With Volleyball

Thanks for everything. My team won state cup and we're going to represent Oregon in regionals. This would not have happened without your help.

Scholarship Recipient

When Dawitt wanted to start a basketball team with his friends at the Plaza Townhome apartments, Off the Sideline provided scholarships for the entire team. Fellow resident, Abraham Fofanah, has known most of the boys since they were small and was their first coach. Their community has rallied behind them, with many adults and family members attending games when they can. 

Because we are passionate about getting and keeping kids in the game, Off the Sideline has sponsored the team four times, with Portland Parks and Recreation Goldenball and Beaverton Hoops. We’re proud of their success both on and off the court. Working with Volunteers of America, we’re  helping to build healthy kids while strengthening our communities. See the feature video from KPTV to learn more.

Portland, OR  

Copyright © 2021 Off the Sideline

// Building Community On and Off the Court

Most of the team members, including the seven OTS-sponsored players, had never played volleyball before. But that didn't stop them from beating out six other teams to take the number-one slot in the PPR Fall 2018 Volleyball Tournament.

As a result, the girls have developed a passion for the sport. "There isn't a day that goes by when one of the team members doesn't asks me 'When can we start volleyball again ... we want to play,' “ says the school's Nutrition Services Lead Cherise Lavier who, along with Head Custodian Rob Durkee, coaches the fifth-grade girls. "We're happy to say that thanks to the girls’ enthusiasm, Off the Sideline and a recent GoFundMe effort, we're more ready than ever to hit the court."

​​​// From Mitey Mite to Jr. PeeWee: Keeping it In the Family

Sixth-grader Nathaniel loves everything about football ... from the affection he bestows on his former hometown Arizona Cardinals to his respect for his teammates and coaches playing on his Pop Warner team, the Portland Steelers.

After starting out as a Mitey Mite, Nathaniel knew football was for him even though he’d had a hard time when he was younger connecting with his peers. When Trillium Family Services learned about his passion for the game, they referred him to Off the Sideline to help defray costs to ensure he could continue playing. With new-found confidence and social skills, he’s now the kid encouraging and helping out his team at every step along the way. Not only have Nathaniel and his parents been welcomed into the Steelers fold, but his father, Chris, is now a Steelers coach. Talk about keeping it all in the family!

According to a recent article from the Aspen Institute, just over one-third of girls ages 6-11 meet healthy physical activity guidelines. So when Off the Sideline learned that the Hayhurst Elementary School fifth-grade girls volleyball team wanted to participate in the Portland Parks and Recreation (PPR) volleyball league, we immediately knew we wanted to support them. ​​With more than half of the players eligible for OTS scholarships, we stepped in to pay PPR registration fees for seven of the Hayhurst Husky girls.