Introducing BE Active… …the component of BE Mag that will focus on influential individuals, and entities in the entertainment, and sports arenas that are giving back to OUR communities. Join the BE Team, and BE Active with the “movers and shakers” by making difference in OUR communities.
BE is shining the spotlight on Sporty Girls Inc. (SGI), a non-profit organization that exposes African-American young ladies BEtween the ages of 8 and 18, to non-traditional sports. Presently, SGI gives 40 young athletes of Dekalb and Fulton Counties in Georgia, the opportunity to learn the techniques of tennis, swimming, soccer, and golf. This incredible idea is the brain-child of a woman that is passionate about sports, and people. She knows first hand, the rewards of getting involved in non-traditional sports at an early age. She is non other than, “The Queen of the East Side”, Georgia’s own, Rashan Ali: Radio Personality, Movie Star, Atlanta Falcons sideline host, and Athlete. Ali learned to swim at age three, and by age five was swimming competitively. BEcause swimming was not a popular sport for girls in the African-American community, she had to compete against mostly boys in her age group. Ali appreciates the experience. As a reward for her success in competitive swimming, she received a four year scholarship to Florida A & M.
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend an SGI fundraiser called “Sip.See.Support,” of which, the proceeds are used to support SGI’s Camp Elite. Which is an over-night summer camp housed at Spelman College. It is split into two week long sessions, one is held the last week of June, and the other is held the second week of July. Rashan gives me detail about SGI, Camp Elite, and her future plans for this AMAZING organization:
Suga: Will camp elite continue throughout the school year?
Rashan: Each girl will be awarded a year-long scholarship in the sport of their choice. We will continue to meet with the girls once a month to track their progress and to attend sporting events and other field trips.
Suga: What other activities will the athletes participate in?
Rashan: Camp Elite will be filled with activities during the day. Most of their training activities will take place during the morning. That will be followed by peer development, guest speakers and an afternoon activity.
Suga: What are your future plans for SGI?
Rashan: The goal for SGI is to have its own facility in the next five years. This facility will be housed with an Olympic-sized pool, golf and tennis courts and soccer fields. It will also have dormitory rooms for participants attending our “special invited” programs. It will be the mecca for the African- American female athlete in our four sports.
Suga: What words of encouragement would you give to individuals that have the desire to give back to the community?
Rashan: I think people who give back have been born with an innate sense of giving. It is something that is God given. I really don’t think people need encouragement to give because if you are doing it for the right reasons, no one else should have to tell you how or what to do.
Suga: In your own words, tell BE Mag’s readers what you need them to do to assist the young ladies of SGI.
Rashan: BE fans should be on the look out for our 2nd annual “Swimming With The Stars” event. This is where we solicit celebrities to swim or sponsor a team to compete in a swim meet. It was a lot of fun last year and we are looking forward to it being bigger and better this year!!! For updates on Camp Elite and our other programs, please visit us at www.sportygirlsinc.org! You can always visit our website to donate as well!