Indianapolis, IN—April 16, 2012—Startup nonprofit Nine13sports co-founders Tom Hanley, Ken Nowakowski, and John Singleton had a vision to increase awareness of youth health and wellness using bicycles as their tool. The daunting task they faced was turning concept into reality and obtaining equipment, finding programming partners, and gaining traction in the local community.
That vision the co-founders shared had nothing to do with the passion they have for competitive cycling, as Director of Business Operations John Singleton said “this whole program was crafted around getting kids off the couch, thinking about a bicycle as a tool to get outside and experience their local neighborhood, spending time with friends, and a sustainable method of transportation as they grow older.”
The initial equipment was obtained, a partnership with The Project School-Indianapolis developed, and in January Nine13sports began working with 4th-6th graders. They were asked back for another round of programming after spring break working with 4th-8th graders. “In addition to The Project School, we’re currently working on final details with a programming partner that would keep us booked through August.” Director of Business Development Tom Hanley said in reference to the growth. Ken Nowakowski who is the Director of Program Operations commented “As we secure additional funding we are actively working on other potential partnerships that involve charter schools, established youth programs, and community groups.”
“The past two years have been a whirlwind” Hanley said discussing the startup process of the nonprofit. “We had setbacks personally and professionally that took time away from what we wanted to do, but also allowed us to continue to refine our vision and concept. If it wasn’t for those setbacks we wouldn’t have the polished final product that we developed.”
Nine13sports prides itself in its mobility that was created when they looked at how other nonprofits operated. There is no central office, the three staff members work out of their home offices, vehicles, and equipment trailer. Hanley stated “We’re a turnkey operation for our programming partners as we bring the computer technology, bicycles, and staff and require no help for setup or teardown. We aren’t the most conventional nonprofit and the growth and success of programming is a direct reflection of that.”
The organization has two goals going forward in 2012 according to Hanley “we are on track for 5,000 youth interactions in 2012; almost double what we initially expected.” Singleton followed with “It comes full circle though, the programming has been a hit and our financial goal for fundraising is $250,000 which would allow for two full years of operating and program costs.”
Information can be found at their website www.nine13sports.org, and their social media pages.
Indy Velo (dba Nine13sports) is a Central Indiana 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes health, wellness, and exercise for local youth between the ages of 8 and 18 using bicycling as the gateway. We have created a unique program in which we have integrated the traditional bicycle with technology to provide a turnkey product for youth programs, schools, and other community organizations at no cost to them. In addition to individual betterment of health and fitness, our programs promote community, teamwork, and mutual respect for one another. Our vision is to use the art and sport of cycling to teach and positively influence our participants and leave a lasting impact.