Norfolk Coaches Inspire Youth through a New Mentorship Program

NORFOLK, VA – Norfolk Recreation, Parks & Open Space (RPOS) kicked off a new mentorship program called #TURNT on April 6th for youth ages 10 to 16 at the Norfolk Boxing Center. The purpose of #TURNT, which stands for Transforming, Unifying, Recognizing Norfolk Teens, is to teach leadership, life skills, personal development and engage in physical fitness and team building in a fun and interactive environment. Over 65 Norfolk youth were in attendance.

The session opened with remarks from Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, Councilman Paul Riddick, Councilwoman Andria McClellan, Councilwoman Courtney Doyle, Sheriff Joe Baron and Director of Recreation, Parks & Open Space Darrell Crittendon. Coaches Hank and Sandra Sawyer, Lake Taylor High School Football and Girls Basketball, facilitated a session on leadership, character, emotional intelligence, and the importance of having a high moral compass and being a person of influence. Coach Mustafa McDowell of Team Norfolk Boxing also provided a boxing demo and tips on conflict resolution.

“The program was previously named “Coach’s Corner. Our coaches and participants changed the name to #TURNT to better connect with area youth and promote a place for personal growth. We are excited to be a catalyst for the development of our future leaders,” said Darrell Crittendon, Director of RPOS.

Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) provided bus passes to participants for future sessions. #TURNT takes place on the first Saturday of each month through September. Below is the complete schedule. All sessions are free. Register by calling a participating recreation center.

  • Session #2: May 4 @ Huntersville Recreation Center (664-7434)
  • Session #3: June 1 @ Lakewood Athletic Office (441-5834)
  • Session #4: July 6 @ Berkley Recreation Center (441-1912)
  • Session #5: August 3 @ East Ocean View Recreation Center (441-1785)
  • Session #6: September 7 @ Titustown Recreation Center (441-1259)
  • Time: All sessions are 11AM – 1PM
  • Lunch & Transportation: Provided by RPOS staff; pick-up and drop-off available at participating recreation centers.