Sports have been an essential tool in our repertoire, since Martin Luther Mathews and the late Hubert "Dickey” Ballentine co-founded the Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls’ Club in 1960. The twain became inspirational leaders to the children, citing the values of hard work, dedication, athletics and education. The Club’s original baseball team of 30 young men, who lacked equipment, training and self-confidence, was transformed into a remarkable success story. These Knights won five games in one day and are now productive citizens across the United States.
Today, our holistic approach sets us apart on the fields and in the classroom offering room with wholesome activities focused on the “Three R’s: Respect, Restraint, and Responsibility.” Thousands of dedicated volunteers are in youth’s corner from peewee status to graduation, showing great love and care. There’s so much more than helping a child perfect their swing, throw a touchdown or score a three-pointer. Many coaches become surrogate parents, hosting cookouts and sleepovers, offering leadership and guidance, and broadening horizons through enrichment field trips. Our baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football and swimming programs help youth build strong bodies and minds. In its 51st anniversary, Mathews-Dickey is expanding its programming into North County at the 30-acre Bob Russell Park.
Coaches are adept at recommending educational programs to assure youth’s well-rounded development. A St. Louis Public Schools minimum GPA mandate for extracurricular participation inspired the tutoring program, with “Cardiac Cardinals” football players as the first volunteers.Today, the Club uses sports as a drawing card for educational opportunities, including after-school computer training. Earn and learn officiating and scorekeeping, a Summer Daycamp safe haven, and leadership and career training. The Club is a non-profit, 501(c)3 United Way member agency annualy serving more than 40,000 young men and women from a 50-mile radius.