The Community Board Athletic Leadership League was founded by Mr. Abdul “Sleep” Johnson in October of 2005. As chairperson of the Parks and Recreation, Youth Services and Historical Outreach committee for Bronx Community Board Three, “Sleep” Johnson identified that youth were not present at his monthly committee meetings or general board meetings at Bronx Community Board Three. In an effort to rectify this pattern or problem, he started thinking of a solution to make a difference.
In his thoughts of possible ideas which would serve to engage local youth participation, he observed that many adult participants at the meetings were making constructive decisions on behalf of youth while youth who would be affected, were not in attendance. Other adults, he noticed, were complaining of misbehaviors on the part of youth living within the community.
As a result, ‘Sleep’ Johnson felt that it would only be right for youth to exercise their voice to express themselves directly while becoming more involved in the community. Meetings of the Parks and Recreation, Youth Services and Historical Outreach committee, although very constructive and informative, didn’t have a strong appeal to grab their attention. “Sleep” Johnson took all of these thoughts and created various ideas on paper, to entice, as well as attract youth to these meetings. These ideas started with him interviewing youth in the community to gain a better understanding of their main interests in order to lure them into attending committee meetings.
As a result of conversing with youth in the community, their answers all across the board were similar and related to sports, music, electronics, games, activities, jobs and more. This prompted “Sleep” Johnson to combine all of what he gathered into an overall movement, which as a result, developed into a concept to launch an athletic league which would target male and females, ages 7 to 18, covering all sports, games and activities. This athletic league would have pre, post and half time entertainment, along with job placement, which altogether would address their desires.