Hidden Gems of Concord: The Community Youth Center

Accessible fun for all. That is the goal of Concord’s Community Youth Center (CYC), an affordable and welcoming nonprofit recreation center where kids can go to better themselves both physically and mentally. CYC offers a supportive environment and space for K-12 school-age kids to do their homework and improve at a sport or activity of their choosing.

Kids can participate in any of the eight different sports offered at the center including boxing, cheerleading, dance, judo, soccer, strength & conditioning, taekwondo, wrestling and flag football. Each team practices with specialized coaches, and some even compete in local tournaments. 

Before attending practice, everyone is required to spend a minimum of 45 minutes in one of the two study areas where they have access to computers and whiteboards, as well as subject-specific tutors to help them get started on their school assignments.  The tutoring center also offers career support where kids can find information on jobs, internships, and colleges when the time is right. 

The 50,000 square foot Center is open Monday- Friday from 12pm-8:30pm, and Saturdays from 9 am-2pm, and at any given time you will find kids of all ages learning, playing and having a great time with their friends. Between four buildings and one playing field, there is never a dull moment at CYC. 

The Center’s philosophy revolves around the idea of setting goals and accomplishing them. Whether it is in the classroom or on the playing field, the coaches and staff are there to support each child. By creating an atmosphere where they can focus, students are able to set and achieve their own goals and feel good about them.  

The facility reopened in July and staff members have been taking steps to keep kids safe so that they can still participate amidst COVID-19 restrictions. Class sizes have been reduced, and all participants must complete a health check before entering as well as sanitizing both their hands and feet. Additionally, anyone inside of the facility must wear a mask at all times, even during physical activity. 

For anyone who is unable to make it into the facility, the staff have started zoom workouts as well as free classes through YouTube, so that kids can still get a workout in from home. These classes were implemented as an option during the pandemic and will remain in place until more participants return to the Center for in-person classes. 

Established in 1995 as a boxing club by Ken Hoffman, CYC has grown immensely in 25 years, and now hosts up to 2,000 young kids from all over the Bay Area in its programs. With COVID-19 restrictions, only about 500 kids are coming into the facility and attending classes each day, but that number is increasing with each passing month. 

The goal of opening a facility like this was simple: to create a space where any kid- regardless of their situation- can come to be active and find a community. The cost of attendance $33 a month per student, but financial aid is available for participants, if needed. Blake Wayne, the director of marketing, and strength & conditioning coach, said we “don’t want anyone to be turned away because of their financial situation”

CYC is not only a great place for kids to find a workout routine, but also a great way to train and get better at a sport, like boxer Kevin Montano. Montano is a member of the USA boxing team, currently training to compete in the upcoming Olympic games 2022, and just one of many CYC success stories.

If you are interested in learning more about CYC or the services that it offers, you can find information on classes and other offerings, visit their website here