Established in 1974, Roberto Clemente Sports City is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing athletic opportunities and life lessons for young people throughout Puerto Rico and beyond. Sports City occupies 304 acres in Carolina, on the outskirts of San Juan, consisting of baseball, football and soccer fields, a swimming pool, tennis courts, training facilities and meeting rooms.
After a gift of land by the Puerto Rican government, RCSC opened its doors. The Clemente family has maintained steady guidance and vision for Sports City. Sports City's Board of Directors consists of Roberto's wife, Vera, who is Chairperson, along with his son Luis who President and CEO of Sports City, former National League President, Len Coleman and Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie, amongst others. Through the years, Roberto Clemente Sports City has grown in both reputation and participation, with more than 200,000 young people taking part in RCSC activities over the past year. Increasingly RCSC is receiving attention as an effective model of social development for young people seeking positive alternatives to the negative influences that too often invade their lives.
At RCSC, young people learn the value of fair competition, hone their skills at the sports they love, and play their games while experiencing the timeless lessons that sports can bestow - teamwork, friendship, honesty, and the rewards of hard work. In the process they receive gifts they will not lose, including the self-esteem that comes from accomplishment gained through dedication and perseverance. RCSC is a sports complex, but to the thousands of young people who have passed through its programs, it is also a classroom.
Drawing on the instruction of some of the leading figures in each sport, including former major league baseball players and current NFL stars, Sports City offers participants high quality instruction. In the process, RCSC occupies a unique place in Puerto Rico, one which has been recognized at sports' highest levels. The centerpiece of RCSC's programs, and the one which draws the greatest number of participants, Roberto Clemente Sports City offers year-round training and competition in baseball in their Reviving Baseball in Inner cities program. Summer instructional camps are directed by former major leaguers including Felix Millan and Otto Velez, and numerous current major leaguers regularly make their way to RCSC to help teach lessons for use both on and off the field. Teams representing RCSC in the RBI program have competed and won various RBI World Series titles and tournaments throughout the Caribbean and the United States, experiences that for many players constituted their first glimpse of the world beyond their home towns. In 2007 and 2008 the Washington Nationals held open tryouts at the complex, which attracted more than 300 aspiring ballplayers and the signings of a couple of players. For the past 5 years RCSC is host to Puerto Rico's only youth american football league. More than 800 individuals take part.
We believe that Roberto Clemente Sports City offers unique opportunities for young people to play their sports, to learn the timeless values that sports impart, and, in the end, to change their lives permanently for the better. We believe, too, that RCSC has the capacity to be regarded as a premier model for youth development. There are few better ways to transform the despair of marginalized young people into confidence and optimism than allowing them to play their games and using those games as instructional vehicle for positive life lessons. RCSC has pursued this path since its inception.
RCSC can grow as large as its resources permit. As popular as its programs are, there are still countless others who cannot take part for various reasons. Resources are needed to expand existing programs and to develop new avenues that preserve RCSC's values while reaching more young people. RCSC needs to be able to continue to attract the best, most committed instructors, to offer its participants well maintained facilities, and to meet the basic expenses that come with more than 300 acres of fields. While the Puerto Rican government has established a welcome base of support, RCSC can only be as successful and as expansive as the support of its friends permits.
Roberto Clemente's accomplishments on the baseball field prefaced his work as a humanitarian, and, as with all great humanitarians, the vision lives on, continuing to touch lives and build new futures. An icon throughout Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Latin America and around the world, Roberto Clemente established a legacy that shines through clearly several decades after his death. We invite you to be a part of his vision, and his dreams.