Tony Stewart, former National Football League Player and founder of Beyond the Locker (BTL), planned the first Mini Camp for the non-profit organization in 2011.  The sports camp had a different flair to it than a standard sports camp.  The goal of the camp was to provide sports agility training alongside of life skill training.  Tony’s hope was for the students to get something more out of the camp than a day of sports. Middle School and High School youth interacted with caring volunteers that shared life lessons that could help them reach their goals.  A movement that is “More Than Sports” was born. 

The idea for BTL was developed in the heart of a man that played in one of the most grueling sports and on the highest demanding playing field in the world.  He is giant of a man that walks with a humble heart that has a vision for changing communities on person at a time.  The NFL and his teammates recognized Tony’s commitment to being a professional in the NFL and his work in local communities around Philadelphia, Cincinnati and the SF Bay Area by nominating him for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award.  

The very first outreach for BTL was a camp for youth on the west end of Alameda’s Naval Base.  One of the people in the group of volunteers was Dr. Jim Morris, a Superintendent of a local SF Bay Area School district.  He was able to witness the sincere heart of the “Mini Camp” program and how it added value to the youth of Alameda.  Tony approached Dr. Morris with a plan to impact the students in the local school district and he accepted. 

In October of 2011, Beyond the Locker had its first opportunity to work with students within a school environment and it didn’t take long for people to notice the impact.  One of the areas top philanthropic groups, The Fremont Bank Foundation, heard about the great work that BTL was doing and has supported its largest sports camp to date serving over 100 students.  The relationship between The Fremont Bank Foundation and BTL was formed and has combined to impact thousands in the city of Fremont,CA. 

In 2012, BTL doubled its reach by continuing its work in Fremont.  BTL also partnered with Jubilee Community Church to serve with the “Beautiful Day” Movement to impact the youth in the Alviso area of San Jose.  The Boys and Girls Club of Pittsburg, CA also partnered with BTL to provide an after school program for students of a junior high school.  In 2013 BTL partnered with Endicia to produce its first ever Corporate Mini Camp.  During this partnership, BTL trained Endicia’s national sales force on how to impact the local community.  It was also an NFL Play 60 event that enhanced BTL’s Mini Camp by providing health and wellness tips for Junior High Students in East Palo Alto. 

In 2014 Beyond The Locker had its biggest impact thus far by partnering with Kaiser Permanente to produce a Junior High School BTL Academy that focused its efforts to increase attendance and grade point average while decreasing disciplinary issues with Walters Junior High School.  BTL also continued its relationship with Fremont Unified School District to deliver its second year of the BTL Summer Academy.  BTL trained 600 students over the summer months with life skills to help navigate through some of life’s most difficult challenges.  

The Fremont Bank foundation and other companies such as Endicia, San Francisco City Impact, Wells Fargo, Alpha Graphics, Fremont Unified School District, Boys and Girls Club, Kaiser Permanente and individuals have supported and partnered with BTL to impact communities in all areas of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Beyond the Locker is looking forward to even greater things.