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BLOC Ministries aims to help kids through sports

New BLOC Sports performance aims to help kids through athletics (WKRC)

LOWER PRICE HILL, Ohio (WKRC) - A new program by BLOC Ministries aims to help local kids with their lives through sports.

BLOC Sports Performance on State Street is set to open soon.

For Jordan Bunch, the director of BLOC Sports Performance, this is much more than just training inner city athletes and helping them get into college. He hopes this will change the course of many kids' lives.

Kids like Darion Thompson, "Sports motivates me. If you get me in sports, it could be basketball, baseball, football, volleyball, soccer, I played soccer when I was little, it just motivates me to do good."

Darion was skipping and failing classes at West High. Darion needed to turn things around. One motivation was his grandma, Estelle. "When she died a part of me died too, because I still miss her. I thought to myself I'm going to do this for her."

Jordan says, "He's not a huge troublemaker, he's a sweet kid but he just needed a change."

Darion stays in BLOC Ministries' EPOH House, a home for youth in need of guidance. "I asked them if I could move in because I started doing bad in school, now I'm starting to do good in school now because I'm here with them they started helping me out."

He's also in the Tribe program and will soon train at BLOC Ministries Sports Performance Center.

Jordan bunch started the programs not just to provide local athletes with professional sports training, but to also mentor and tutor them and offer spiritual guidance. "We're going to use sports as sort of a hook or a doorway."

Jordan volunteers as a strength coach at West High and Oyler High School. He saw many talented athletes coming to open gym at Oyler. "What I saw was the majority of them are unbelievably talented and yet, that were playing with us, the majority of them 17 and older did not graduate high school, children already, in and out of jail already, a good handful of them have already been shot. At the end of the day we want to help the entire family, not just the boy. So we start with the boy but then we kind of work our way into the family and do what we can for everyone."

Most of the boys in the program will be referrals from juvenile court. Matt Messenger will also work with them. "It's crazy to think that, what some of these kids, with this opportunity, what they will possibly be able to achieve."

The goal is for athletes to earn athletic or academic college scholarships but more importantly helping these young boys become men.

Darion says if he doesn't become a pro athlete, he would like to be a teacher or a chef.

There will be an open house at BLOCK Sports Performance April 26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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