What Is the 18th Ward?
New Orleans is divided into 17 wards. The 18th Ward is where kids from across the city play together.
We created the 18th Ward to increase youth access to sports by eliminating barriers to participation. We work with youth from ages 3-24. Everyone is welcome to play with us regardless of gender, race, income or neighborhood. We provide high-quality programs and trained coaches to make sure kids have fun and learn the foundational skills to feel successful in sports.
Our Core Components
We use best practices in teaching to help kids master the foundational skills embedded in sports. While 40% of youth sports coaches have no training, we train 100% of our coaches. We believe the lessons learned and experience gained in our programs will fuel leadership pipelines in our city for years to come.
We guarantee a great experience at a much lower price. Families choose a fee that best supports their budget. Our sliding scale model generates immediate and long-term savings for families and eliminates a common barrier to participation. We want to increase access to sports for youth and families in New Orleans.
We provide a space where everyone feels welcome ensuring that our children participate in activities reflective of our city’s diversity. We purposefully do not separate our players based on race, gender, income or neighborhood. We believe that building positive relationships at young ages impacts the future of New Orleans.
How We Play
We want our kids to have fun AND learn. During each practice, kids rotate in small groups to different stations. They participate in skill-building exercises and game-based activities.
We don’t draft or rate players. Conversations after each practice/game are less about the scoreboard and more about which skills a player is improving on during games and which one they want to work on to get better.
Our program is designed to maximize time, build skill, and make sure fun isn’t lost during competition.
Youth Sports Participation
We created our program to address the gaps in youth sports:
- Local: less than 20% of kids in Orleans Parish are active in sports.
- National: less than 24% of children 6 to 17 years of age get enough physical activity. (CDC)
- Gender: 40% of teen girls do not participate in sports compared to 25% of teen boys. (Zarrett, N. Veliz, P. & Sabo, D. 2018)
- Due to financial barriers: children from low-income families are less likely to participate. (The Aspen Institute)
- Based on race/ethnicity: youth representation across the country for black athletes is 8% for youth soccer, 10% for baseball, 14% for football, and 25% for basketball. (Sports & Fitness Industry Association)