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  Friday, August 22, 2014
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February 14, 2014
Bethany Riley Helps Inner City Kids
By Kevin Devlin
 Bethany grew up in the Danvers-Ipswich area and attended Pingree, a private school in the Eastern Independent League (EIL). At Pingree, she was a tri-captain in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. She was voted “Most Athletic” at Pingree. She was an MVP in soccer and hoop, and a defensive MVP in lacrosse. She was also an All-Scholastic in hoop. Bethany attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. An injury put her on the sidelines during her college days but that didn’t dampen her spirit and zest for life. 
   
Initially pre-med, one of her college courses took her to a fifth grade ESL class in the inner city. She developed a rapport with the youngsters and eventually switched her major to be a human rights advocate centered on youth development. She studied in Trinidad and did her undergraduate research in Bogota, Columbia. She graduated in 2010. 
   
Bethany worked with at-risk kids and gang members in New Bedford, then for Metro Lacrosse (an inner-city program that teaches life-lessons for at-risk youngsters) before landing at the Club. She understands the need for these kids to have advocates working for them.
   
She plans to continue to grow the sports program at the Club. She’s increased the number of hoop teams this season and now the Club has four teams in different age groups competing against other Clubs. 
   
“My coaching style and approach is to use sports as a vehicle to teach life skills,” Riley said. “Life is full of ups and downs, just like a game of basketball. Having the opportunity to teach kids how to navigate through the emotions that come with turning the ball over or missing a shot, showing them the importance of helping an opponent up after he gets knocked down, and motivating them to commit all of their energy and focus to a single play or assignment on the court, are the reasons why I love sports and coach.
   
“These lessons parallel what these kids go through every day while they are in school, at home, or on the streets,” she added. “They need to learn how to win and how to lose so they know how to pick and choose battles. They need to be confident so they can stand up for themselves. They need to learn leadership skills so they can defend others who lack confidence. These are all lessons players must learn while being part of a team.”   
   
Riley also wants to enhance the Club’s athletic program to include as many kids as possible on as many teams. She wants to expand intramural floor hockey, STEP team (dancing with music), wheelchair hoop, and generational mentoring, wherein older teens mentor and coach younger Club members.  
   
Timmy Bothwell, the Club’s Director of Operations, is enthusiastic about his AD’s performance and zest for her job.
   
“Riley has created a fun and positive environment in our athletic program,” said Bothwell. “She is compassionate with a huge heart, but expects one hundre percent from every player on and off the court. As a former Club athletic director and member, knowing that Riley will be part of the Club means our future will continue to be a bright one.” 

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