In 1998, Rob and Amy Castañeda moved into the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, a primarily Mexican community on the west side of Chicago. Shortly thereafter, their lives were threatened by a local gang which was very active on their block. Twice the gang attempted to burn down the Castañeda’s home, shattering their front window with bottles, after learning that Rob had talked to the police when he witnessed a crime by its members. Instead of leaving the neighborhood, the Castañedas responded by getting more involved in the community.
Rob and Amy founded Beyond the Ball after Saturday open gym days at the local high school became so popular, friendships were being built across gang-ties and racial divides. Rob regularly speaks to how sport and play can build community as evidenced by Beyond the Ball’s creative and original programming.
Learn more about how Beyond the Ball got started what they’ve achieved here!