Oakland Roots Sports Club announced it has ‘signed’ 14-year-old Seth Evans, a future weightlifting star from Oakland with world-class talent. The symbolic contract represents a commitment from Roots to support Seth’s dream of becoming an Olympic athlete through a monthly stipend and provision of equipment as well as other support.
Seth, who trains at the Speed Power & Strength (SPS) Gym in Jingletown, is already a national champion who is on a mission to qualify to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games – making him the first kid from Oakland ever to do this.
Roots invited Seth – who is a big fan of the team – and his family to tour the newly opened Training Facility in Alameda, go behind the scenes of the Club’s 2022 jersey photoshoot, sign his symbolic contract, and receive a full set of Roots training gear which he will use to represent The Town.
“As someone who heavily invests my time and money into our community, I firmly believe that the power of this city is best realized with Oakland supporting Oakland,” said Mike Jenkins, Seth’s coach and founder of SPS Gym. “The Roots motto ‘Oakland First, Always’ resonates with me. It’s a commitment to finding and empowering the good in our community. That’s what Seth represents, and that’s why it’s important for me to align the work we do here in Oakland with Oakland Roots Sports Club. We can do more, and with the support of Roots, we will do more. It’s important to give back a little more than you take from the world.”
“For us, being Oakland Roots Sports Club is about supporting and celebrating the next generation of talent wherever it’s found in the city,” said Roots Chief Purpose Officer Mike Geddes. “We’re proud to support the amazing, community-focused work of Mike Jenkins and SPS Gym and Seth’s journey to represent Team USA and the City of Oakland at the Olympics. We’ve invited Seth to come in and teach our players some of his incredible technique, because he represents the focus, commitment and talent we want to embody at the Roots.”
This is the second athlete outside of soccer Oakland Roots has committed support to, with the first being skateboarder Corey Dennis AKA “Swampzillah.”
In addition to coaching Seth, Mike Jenkins and SPS Gym have also recently launched a new, non-profit foundation called the LiftUS Foundation, with the goal of using weightlifting to help young people become well-rounded adults.