Ken Warner, Fox-Rok Athletic Association
As Sports Connect celebrates 20 years of serving youth sports, we have been reflecting on the incredible organizations and unsung heroes that we have had the privilege to support over the last two decades. One of these unsung heroes is Ken Warner, a volunteer at Fox-Rok Athletic Association and our 2015 Administrator of the Year.
Fox-Rok Athletic Association in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has served the Fox Chase and Rockledge communities for over 71 years. The non-profit, volunteer-run organization offers baseball, softball, basketball, flag and tackle football, and cheerleading programs.
When Ken Warner signed his kids up for sports 35 years ago, he volunteered to be an assistant coach. After all, he had played baseball and football growing up and knew he wanted to contribute to what the organization was doing in the community. “I thought I could make a positive change,” said Ken. “I’m a ball player and played sports my whole life. Throughout school, all we did was play ball all the time.”
If you had asked him 35 years ago, Ken might not have guessed that taking that volunteer assistant coaching position would turn into a decades-long passion. Following that first season, he became a head coach and ended up coaching his kids throughout all the years they played.
Over the years, Ken took on more responsibility at Fox-Rok. As a mechanical engineer by degree and product engineer by trade, he was an undisputed technical expert and problem-solver at the organization. In fact, back in the 80s, Ken was utilizing his experience with computers to develop solutions for batting averages before software for youth sports was even a blip on anyone’s radar.
Now, Ken wears many hats at Fox-Rok. He has since retired from coaching, but serves on the board of directors, works with local politicians and businesses to generate funds, and helps maintain the Fox-Rok website. In 2015, Ken Warner was nominated by Fox-Rok for Admin of the Year (now known as Stack MVP Awards). His story and commitment to serving his community resonated with many readers, and he was deservedly named 2015 Admin of the Year.
Ken still maintains an open line of communication with the Sports Connect team today and shares product enhancement ideas to improve the software for volunteers like himself.
When asked why he continues to volunteer, even all these years after his kids aged out of the program, he said, “When I was a kid, my parents were divorced by third grade. All I wanted to do was provide a positive difference in one child’s life…something I didn’t have.”
His biggest motivator to continue is to serve as a mentor for kids in his community. “Some of them come from broken homes, which I can relate to, and I try to give them self-worth,” he said. His dedication to the kids seems to be paying off. Many of his former players have grown into well-adjusted adults, including a Tank Commander in the military and a medical doctor.
“It’s all about kids and having fun. That’s how it should be,” said Ken.
Does someone in your organization deserve to be recognized for their outstanding commitment to youth sports? Nominate them for the 2022 Stack MVP Awards presented by Sports Connect. Nominations close on September 30, 2022.
Nominate here: https://sportsconnect.com/stack-mvp-awards/
Fox-Rok Athletic Association has been a Sports Connect partner for over eight years. We appreciate their trust and partnership.
Fox-Rok Mission Statement: The Fox-Rok Athletic Association is committed to providing organized athletic programs for the benefit of the children of our community. The goal of the association is to promote children’s involvement, social skill development and athletic achievement in an atmosphere of good sportsmanship as we help to prepare the children for adulthood. The decisions of the association shall focus on providing what is in the best interests of the children of our community. The principles and philosophies shall be guided by the association’s motto: “Where Kids Come First.”