Fayetteville, AR – The Arkansas Athletes Outreach is a nonprofit in Fayetteville helping kids learn life skills through sports.
Almost every weekend at the Arkansas Athletes Outreach sport center, you’ll hear the familiar sounds of some pretty serious sports being played.
Brad Friess, the Executive Director for Arkansas Athletes Outreach said, “I call it the laboratory of life.”
And right along with the nearly 2,00 kiddos that pass through the doors each and every year, there are also several coaches and mentors to help them, like Antonio Cotton.
Antonio Cotton, a trainer and coach mentioned, “Sports had a big impact in my life, because without that, who knows where I would have been.”
Coach Cotton has been here for almost a year and a half helping youth.
And as to why he does to why he does it, you’d have to look back at his own childhood.
Cotton said, “Growing up I never had a father and seeing other kids have a mentor, just really wanted to be that guy to come in and help kids out.”
“Sports is a huge opportunity to reach and teach our young people and prepare them for life,” said Friess.
While excelling in athletics is part of what this nonprofit is all about, learning life skills to succeed – is an even bigger part.
Friess explains, “We just try to help kids strive for a life of excellence both physically mentally, spiritually.”
With youth sports growing in popularity across the county and right here in Northwest Arkansas, these coaches wouldn’t mind a mentoring a few new faces.
Friess said, “Building championship for life. We just feel there’s a transformational power through sports.”
“Please come down. See the facility. Just come down, you’ll love it. Trust me,” said Cotton.