A Partnership with Delaware Area 10 Rotary Clubs
In partnership with the Delaware Area 10 Rotary Clubs, we plan to build the first outdoor ninja warrior park in the State of Delaware! In 2007, the 6 Area 10 Rotary clubs at the time came together to build the first Boundless Playground in Delaware known as the Can-Do Playground. A playground that would be accessible to every child regardless of physical, mental or sensory abilities. Ten years later the Can-Do Playground received an expansion from the 5 remaining Rotary Clubs in Area 10 that allowed for more inclusive play with an enhanced focus on physical, cognitive, communicative, social/emotional and sensory development of the whole child. Since the inception of the project, Rotarians have contributed a significant amount of funds and have volunteered countless hours to provide children and families with a place where kids, with and without disabilities, can play together. We are excited to work together to build a ninja warrior playground that will serve people of all ages—but particularly teens, young adults, and adults—from Wilmington, Delaware and the surrounding area so they can develop healthy and active lifestyles together!
Neighborhood Ninjas uses the sport of American Ninja Warrior to help underserved youth develop active lifestyles, confidence, connection, compassion and resilience. In 2023, we seek to further expand our impact through the development of ninja warrior playgrounds in low income and/or rural areas to increase accessibility for youth or adults who may not have access to the funds or transportation needed to attend a gym, create a safe environment that can foster community, and promote a place where families of all ages can develop healthy and active lifestyles together.
According to the CDC, only 15 percent of U.S. adults engage regularly (3 times a week for at least 20 minutes) in vigorous physical activity during leisure time, and only 22 percent of adults engage regularly (5 times a week for at least 30 minutes) in sustained physical activity of any intensity during leisure time. The ninja playground would help address this concerning statistic by helping youth develop early habits of engaging in physical activity, by exposing them to unique ways to exercise through play, and by providing them with opportunities to physically challenge themselves.
Unlike traditional playgrounds, which are typically built with elementary aged and younger children in mind, the ninja playground would be an obstacle-based playground designed to capture the imagination of older children, teens, and adults, while simultaneously encouraging family activity, time outdoors, regular (and accessible) movement, and growth mindset through altering perceived ability levels.
Our first location will be in Wilmington, DE, home to our Board President, Whitney Miller. This project will build one new playground, designed to serve people of all ages—but particularly teens, young adults, and adults—from Wilmington, Delaware and the surrounding area. Despite being one of the smallest cities to be included in a major metro area, Wilmington has high rates of concentrated poverty (racially and geographically), elevated murder rates, and limited avenues for economic mobility. The Center for Disease Control reports that in some of the small city’s more violent neighborhoods, 60 percent of children have experienced trauma while only a fifth of children living in the rest of Delaware has this type of experience.
In addition to providing youth with a safe space to play and challenge themselves, Neighborhood Ninjas will host trauma-informed community days at the playground once it is complete. Community Days are trauma-informed events for kids to help them develop the mindset to overcome the obstacles they face on the ninja course and in life. Neighborhood Ninjas events foster confidence, connection, community, growth mindset, and resilience for kids who need a little extra love and support, and we are committed to continuing to support the community even after the playground has been built.
Our Feature On WITN22!
Thank you to everyone who made our first ever Pullups for Playgrounds Competition such a huge success!
This was the most incredible weekend for an incredible cause! We:
Raised $4600 from the competition and are quickly closing in on our final fundraising goal!
Had our local Wilmington competition double as a food drive for West End Neighborhood House and drop off nonperishable items for their Thanksgiving baskets
Were featured on WITN22 Wilmington!
Had SO much fun watching the community come together for this cause!
We are passionate about providing safe and accessible spaces where folks can build resilience, growth mindset and physical strength, and we are SO GRATEFUL for the way the community has come together to support this cause!