While working at The Good in Sports, I’ve interacted with some truly amazing and passionate sports fans. That being said, it’s refreshing to see the receptive and welcoming attitudes that we’ve received from many of the heroes we look up to–our favorite athletes.Through such an exchange, one of the athletes that we have had the pleasure of learning more about is BMX rider, Kevin Robinson.
The Rhode Island native’s career has earned him legendary status among the elite of BMX, especially being a four-time Gold Medal X-Games recipient (2009, 2007, and two in 2006). Additionally, he set a record in BMX High Air in 2008 and was granted the most prestigious title of Most Outstanding Athlete of the Summer X-Games in 2007. While the accolades are great, what I find most inspiring about Robinson’s career and talents is just how much he’s redirected his career focus; displaying his unselfish committment to the community.
In 2010, Robinson started the K-Rob Foundation, an organization dedicated to assisting the children of his own hometown of East Providence, Rhode Island. In May of this year, the K-Rob Foundation held a wine tasting, as well as a Family Fun Festival, in order to raise funds and greater awareness for the organization’s cause. During these festivities, families from around the community were given the chance to interact and meet in ways that may have never been possible.
I’ve also been impressed by what’s been happening much more recently with the K-Rob Foundation, especially through its partnership with the local affiliate of the YMCA. Following the Summer X-Games of this year, the K-Rob Foundation teamed up with the Bayside YMCA (of Rhode Island) in an effort to promote active and healthy lifestyles for children, by incorporating BMX and skateboarding skills into the YMCA children’s summer camp program. Robinson’s own nephew, Steven Fontes, has played a significant role in this initiatve, appreciating the significance of the presence of all sports, including action sports, in children’s lives. In an interview with Ester Irneny of the East Providence Patch, Fontes said, “If a kid’s never had ballet lessons, they don’t know if they’ll like it…This is an outlet for kids to discover an ability.”
Furthering his interest in our youth, Robinson has also joined forces with another former BMX athlete, Chris Poulos, by starting the Kevin & Chris organization. The combo is perfect, as Poulos is another model for inspiring children, having won 85 worldwide competitions, earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and has become a certified black belt in Tae Kwon Do since retiring from the competitive world of BMX.
The Kevin & Chris organization tours various schools to teach children not just about BMX, but also about discovering their passion in life, no matter what it is.The format of their presentations is both fun and interactive for the kids, fresh with live BMX displays. Further, the program also aims to help children discover their abilities, through honest question and answer sessions, as they are taught the importance of developing their own personal interests in life, the strength of teamwork, as well as the benefits rewarded from substance-free lifestyle choices.
I was particularly moved by what the principle of Dudley Middle School, Gregg J. Desto said in an interview following a Kevin & Chris presentation, saying, “Because these are two people that they [the children] can relate to, they get far more out of it than if I gave a speech.”
Mr. Desoto is right and that is why it is so important for athletes like K-Rob to reach out to these kids and make a difference. The Good In Sports commends Mr. Robinson for his efforts and awards him a Gold Star. We have a feeling K-Rob will have many more Gold Stars in the future.
© 2011 The Good In Sports