Ongoing coverage of the Chicago Teachers Strike

MVPP 09.17.19 | Tina Sernet, Founder of The Sports Shed

Ji Suk Yi, Tina Sernet, Steve Cochran, & Dave Eanet

From as far back as she can remember she has loved sports! With a whiffle ball bat in hand, when she was up to bat in her grandparents back yard, even though she was one of the younger cousins (and a girl), it was her top priority as a 7 year old, to get on base! By the time she was on the Freshman softball team, nothing made her feel more accomplished than making a perfect throw from behind the plate to second base and shocking the umpire as he had no choice but to call the runner OUT. She had a dad who took her to Cardinal baseball games from age 3, and went to the tennis courts and played until it was dark Her passion to practice, work hard and be competitive came from positive influences like her dad, coaches and the safe environment I was raised in. I was able to pass this on when she became a parent and her own kids experienced sports of all kinds growing up in suburban Chicago. She started to notice an over indulgence of high quality gear to make sure kids were always equipped with the latest and the best. Families in affluent areas accumulate sports gear in their garages that often ends up not being used much at all and she grew a desire to find a way to put this quality gear to good use! When she started researching, she found there was a huge lack of sports opportunities in many of Chicago’s inner-city neighborhoods. It became clear that there is an enormous disparity of resources available for school athletics and community programs between affluent and low-income areas. This leaves literally hundreds of thousands of kids surrounded by hardship and negative influences with very few positive options. This lead her decision to start The Sports Shed in 2009. It has provided quality sports gear to over 200 schools and sports programs. The goal is to continue the growth of the organization so The Sports Shed can meet the needs of hundreds more schools and programs in Chicago that have little to no budget.

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