Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme

Running the Club’s Athletic Program Keeps Tom Barber in Shape

Posted in Uncategorized by BGCOP Staff on May 27, 2015

Tom Barber_cropped For Tom Barber, getting to mentor kids and watch them grow and progress fulfills a lifelong dream that started as a youth growing up in South Central community of Oxnard. He attended the 7th Street Club when it was open on the weekends and there was just a game room with sports tournaments against Clubs from out of town. A graduate of Ventura College, Tom has 40 years of experience in conducting youth and adult sports teams/leagues, as well as other recreation/education programs. He puts this background to good use as the Club’s athletic director. Here, he’s responsible for 15 sports program aides and all the volunteer coaches, which can be as many as 10. He provides programs for kids age 6–12 at the Martin V. Smith Branch on 5th Street, organizing sports leagues, scheduling games, coordinating the spring, summer and fall sailing camps, as well as the junior lifeguard program. Tom also coordinates the Healthy Lifestyle and Triple Play programs, runs the summer sports camps and organizes excursions to sporting events. Up to 650 kids participate in the Club’s many sports programs during the year. The number continues to grow as more kids become members. Getting to watch the kids’ progress from the beginning of the season to the end, is one of the best parts of Tom’s job, he says. It’s also rewarding to watch how they improve on an individual basis and how it affects their play as a team, and following them once they move on to junior high and high school and then mature into young adults who want to give back to their community. Tom works closely with many of the kids, advising them to take full advantage of the programs the Club offers, and the opportunities and resources available to help them be successful not just in school, but in life. He tells them, “Think big, and do not let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve any goals you have set for yourself!” During his seven years at the Club, Tom has received the National Merit Award—twice! He received one in 2011 for the Sports Camps for Champs program and one in 2015 for the clubs sailing program. “Mentorship plays a very big role in the daily operations of what we do for the kids,” says Tom. “Being able to change, influence and save lives is what motivates me to get up every morning.”

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