Since 1983 the All Dorchester Sports League has brought together different types of athletes from across the city. The league— headquartered at Casey Town Field in Fields Corner— was created to introduce people of a variety of different races and backgrounds to sports and each other on the field of play.
Jared Blandino, born and raised on Ashmont Street, is the executive director of ADSL. The 27-year-old was hired to run the league in January of 2008 and has countless responsibilities.
As executive director he manages all the programs that are offered, sets up all the leagues and after school programs, manages the website, helps in community outreach, organizes the board of directors, coaches, and even tutors. He does all this while keeping his eye on the ultimate goal of the league: bringing a diverse group of people from the neighborhood to play and work together.
Blandino got started in sports early. From the age of seven he began playing in the ADSL and Cedar Grove baseball team. St. Ann CYO basketball soon followed. He brought those skills with him to Boston College High School playing both baseball and basketball for four years.
After graduating from B.C. High, Blandino headed off to Suffolk University where he played four more years of baseball. He not only had his success on the field but also in the classroom, graduating with a degree in Public Relations/Journalism.
But Blandino did not head directly to ADSL after earning his degree from Suffolk, he told the Reporter.
“It actually led me to an accounting job at State Street for 14 months as a entry level job,” Blandino said. “[I] didn’t like it much and the position here came about, I talked to a few people, applied, they thought I was the right fit. This is more of what I want to do, youth sports is great, but it’s also the community relations aspect that I enjoy.”
Blandino’s years as an ADSL player was highlighted by a trip to Cuba to play as a 17 year-old. The trip cemented a bond between Blandino and the league that’s remained strong— even though times have changed.
“As far as baseball, it was always fantastic. The difference now is that the talent might not be as high but we want to offer more to everybody. We want to focus more on health and nutrition,” Blandino said. “We still offer all the team sports but our main goal isn’t just to beat other towns or win leagues. Our main goal is to offer our help to all different types of kids whether serious athletes or kids just trying to stay fit.
“And also as far as the tutoring, it’s been more of a focus because the education part is growing and we want to make it even bigger. There’s more of an education component going on rather than sports. People see the All Dorchester Sports League but I think there’s more to it with the education side.”
Blandino is also focused on the community relations part of his job. The ADSL has been involved with helping multiple local programs including Boston Shines and the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Fields Corner. Whether it’s helping in the community, or opening the doors to its facilities, the ADSL is always willing to help. They also have good relationships with other local programs such as Dorchester Youth Soccer.
The ADSL office facilities have seen many improvements recently, but are still a work in progress. There has been new carpet, new furniture and bookshelves installed. They are going to have a small library and as far as technology, the plan is to add computers for homework and research. Blandino’s goal is to have a state of the art facility. Grants have helped fund these improvements.
Registration for 2011 baseball and softball teams opened on March 12th. You can also get the registration form at the league’s website: alldorchestersportsleague.org.