Kenneth Dickson imagines a future for West End Park without the violence it wears on its face.
SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio activist hopes to end a scourge of gang violence in a western neighborhood through youth sports. But he needs the help of the community to make it a reality.
The West End Park sports ground is often empty, but for Kenneth Dickson it is full of potential.
“This whole field here will be our tackle positions. It will be our juniors, our Tykes and our other divisions will all be here.”
Two bullet holes adorn the West End Park sign; scars of the violence that Dickson hopes to free his neighborhood from.
“During the day or evening, there’s nothing going on here but gang violence,” he said. “We’re not just here to bring football, we’re here to bring a lifestyle change that we’re trying to bring, we’re trying to break generational curses.”
His non-profit organization, the Westend Redwolves, works to give children like ten-year-old Larry Coleman an alternative to the streets after school.
“They’re helping me practice my drills and I’m getting better at basketball,” Coleman said.
Dickson hopes to add soccer to the list of activities, while also providing access to social programs for the children’s families.
“What better way to clean up the community than to bring sports and have a whole bunch of kids here, love it, love the atmosphere and love the community.”
But it will need community support to make it a reality. He estimates he will need $30,000.
“For the 100 helmets, 100 shoulder pads,” Dickson said. “and the rest of the funds that will be needed will be for uniforms, league fees, insurance and field equipment.”
Dickson says how long it takes; he plans to continue until the potential of his west side community is unlocked.
“Tomorrow it might not happen, in a few months, but eventually it will spread,” he said. “And we will get the resources we need to provide these free services.”
Dickson has created a GoFundMe page for anyone interested in donating. People can also donate through the team’s website or Cashapp. The WestEnd Redwolves is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible.