Keeping students on the field and out of the streets
Eli’s Garden of Healing gives us a platform to support our community as our neighbors heal from the existing effects violence has had on their lives. We know we can do more than be reactive to violence. We can also play a role in preventing future acts of violence from occurring.
It all starts with our youth. The future of our community.
About Eli’s Cleats
Participating in school sports helps kids develop healthy life-long habits. School athletics require maintaining good grades and attendance records while constantly striving to achieve excellence on the field. Students who participate in school sports have a network of support including coaches and teammates all rooting for them to succeed.
Sports programs teach kids about the value of physical and mental health. They instill in students a desire to be the best they can be on and off the field. Even in the off-season football programs groom students with weight training, position-specific skills development and a range of activities which keep students engaged and out of the streets.
While school sports programs offer a range of support and essential safety gear to get kids into the huddle, families take on the expense of providing important necessities such as gloves, nicer mouth guards, compression layers, and cleats. It’s an annual investment parents make to ensure they keep their kids in the program, but for many families that investment can be a burden which can strain household expenses and lead to some students not being able to play.
We are thrilled to partner with the Hamden High football program to provide four pairs of cleats per year to students who will benefit from them. This allows the coaches to pick a student from each grade to receive a pair of new cleats.
“Engaging with teenagers by keeping them in school sports is so important. They are driven to get good grades so they can stay on the team. Sports programs create life-long friendships which are priceless. When our family lost Elijah to gun violence in 2022, the Hamden football community showed up strong. Students, coaches, parents, everybody. We are so proud to give back to the Hamden High football program by establishing Eli’s Cleats and ensuring families have the opportunity to keep their student-athletes in the program.
We intend to expand this program over time to support all youth football programs in Hamden. Stay tuned.” –Crystal Cathcart President of Eli’s Garden of Healing