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Westerville Parks & Recreation Extends Partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance to Benefit Youth Athletes


November 13, 2019 – Westerville Parks & Recreation has extended its partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a national non-profit movement developing “Better Athletes, Better People” by working to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building sports experience.

The partnership provides Westerville Parks and Rec coaches with access to PCA’s training, tools and resources for coaches, sports parents, youth athletes and administrators through live group workshops, online courses, books by PCA Founder Jim Thompson and additional online resources.

PCA has partnered with roughly 3,500 schools, districts, conferences, youth sports organizations and park-and-rec departments to create a Development ZoneTM culture, where the goal is using youth and high school sports to develop stronger social-emotional learning and leadership and reasoning developmental opportunities.

“Sports aren’t extra-curricular, they are co-curricular.  There is nothing extra about teaching our young people valuable life lessons like grit, growth mindset, resiliency, teamwork, respect for others, goal setting, and all of the other incredible characteristics sports teach when done right.” Said PCA-Cleveland Partnership and Development Manager, Ryan Virtue. “The Westerville community is very fortunate to have great leaders like Michael and Derek who understand the importance of creating a positive youth development culture and we are excited to continue to support their commitment to developing better athletes and better people.”

“We are excited to reaffirm our partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance.  Our Bantam Basketball League strives to provide our Westerville-area youth with the opportunity to develop their basketball skills, while practicing them in a wholesome situation,” said Derek Milliken, Assistant Athletic Manager for Westerville Parks and Recration. “We believe that the PCA approach aligns perfectly with our goals and values, ultimately providing our leaders of tomorrow with various character-building opportunities through the sporting events they are engaged in today.” 

For information about this partnership, please contact either Ryan Virtue (PCA-Cleveland) or Michael Phillips (Westerville Parks and Rec).


About Positive Coaching Alliance

Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is a national non-profit organization with the mission of creating a positive, character-building youth sports environment that results in BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE.

Youth sports currently involves 40M children, which presents a tremendous platform on which to develop youth character and life skills. Research has shown that in order for youth to accrue these benefits from sports, sports needs to be done in a way that creates a positive youth development culture. PCA ensures sports are ‘done right’ with programming that is research-based and designed to have an impact at three levels in a youth sports organization or school:

  • Youth experience improved life skills and character development.  They also perform better!
  • Coaches become more positive and increase their focus on using sports to teach life lessons.
  • Youth Sports Organizations & Schools see their cultures become more positive and everyone involved has more fun.

Since its founding in 1998, PCA has established 18 chapters nationwide, partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations to deliver more than 20,000 live group workshops, reaching 19.2 million youth. PCA offers interactive online courses and has thousands of multimedia tips and tools for coaches, parents, athletes, and leaders available free of charge on PCA also runs two annual awards programs: a scholarship program for high school student-athletes and a coach award program to recognize youth and high school coaches who strive to win and teach life lessons.

PCA gains support from a National Advisory Board of elite coaches, professional and Olympic athletes, organization leaders, and academics who share PCA’s mission including Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach, Lindsay Gottlieb and others such as Joe Thomas, Dusty Baker, Carol Dweck, Herm Edwards, Julie Foudy, Phil Jackson, and Steve Kerr. PCA is proud to partner with more than 50 national governing bodies, youth serving organizations and professional leagues and teams including Boys & Girls Club of America, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and US Lacrosse.

To learn more about Positive Coaching Alliance, contact: Ryan Virtue ( or visit


About Westerville Parks and Recreation

When a community calls itself a “City Within a Park,” you know there’s a true dedication to parks and recreation. With more than 650 acres of parkland, 18,000 trees, 51 miles of trails and four premiere facilities (including an expanding 96,600 sq. ft. community center), Westerville lives up to this vision. In fact, thanks to years thoughtful planning, 95% of City homes are located within a half-mile of a developed park. You see Westerville’s parks aren’t simply a weekend destination, but a core identifying feature of the community.

Westerville Parks and Recreation works purposefully to maintain this legacy, receiving national accreditation since 2005 by the Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), and being honored with the prestigious National Gold Medal five times for excellence in park and recreation administration.

Each year, more than a million people, of all ages and abilities, use the Westerville parks system. Within the past three years, more than 80,000 people have attended free events and classes offered through the Department; and we host nearly 3,000 programs each year. We've grown through decades of citizen commitment: giving volunteers, engaged residents, active program participants and park system users along with generous, dedicated funding.

Our parks, trails, and facilities set the stage for our residents and visitors to connect and discover the best versions of themselves. This drives us to innovate while remaining protective of the City's time-honored traditions. We even celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2016. And just as we have cherished and learned from our past, we're always pushing toward the future..

For more information about Westerville Parks and Recreation, please visit


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