SPORTSLIFE INTERNATIONAL was formed as a non-profit in the United States, a non-denominational organization founded to promote positive Christian values to the youth of Ireland through sports leagues, camps, late night Leagues, youth clubs and after school programmes. SI’s director, Daniel Tabb, and his wife, Amy, each have a wealth of experience through their efforts in church and ministry groups, coaching teams and mentoring youth.
Coach Dan, as he’s known around Ballymun, was introduced to Ballymun on St. Patrick’s Day in 2000 and the Tabb’s moved to Dublin on January 10, 2002. Sports Across Ireland was formed in 2006 and all activities were then shifted under Sports Across Ireland.
Building SI’s Programmes
SI’s programmes in Ireland were implemented in several phases.
The first phase was making contacts with the community, local school and government leaders in Ballymun and Dublin. The second phase was introducing basketball to the area by volunteering to coach 5th and 6th class youth in the Ballymun schools in 2002.
We then launched sports camps, including basketball and football, during school breaks for the youth with the support of Dublin City Council and Ballymun Regeneration Ltd. The first day of its first camp started with only four coaches and three kids, but by the end of that first week there were 30 kids involved! Today, there are roughly 150 kids per week for camps( Sports, Dance, Arts/Crafts).
Coach Dan also taught Religious Education in the Comp Secondary School, and coached basketball for the boys and girls school team. The school sports hall and grounds badly needed upgrades for its physical education classes and sport teams. Coach Dan raised money to install four new adjustable glass baskets, as well negotiated with partners (including USA, co. and BRL) for the installation of an all-weather pitch on the premises adjacent to the sports hall, and an indoor Futsal Centre opened by Desmond Tutu in February 2009.
The Trinity Comprehensive Hall was used to launch the first successful Upward Basketball League in the winter of 2004, followed by Upward Football League in the spring of 2005. In 2006, SPORTSLIFE INTERNATIONAL began Friday Night Basketball & Football Leagues from 10-12PM. The Friday Night Leagues received much fanfare and have also been taken up by the Football Association of Ireland, Dublin City Council and the Garda. SAI has taken its camps and leagues across Dublin and the Republic of Ireland, as well as Northern Ireland, with plans to continue to train other leaders to do the same as communities express their interest.
Through its programmes, Coach Dan and the team of adult volunteers have worked with over 1,000 youth (ages of 6 and 17) and their families in the community. With your help, we aim to build the faith, character and self-esteem of today’s youth – tomorrow’s community leaders!