Our Mission :
The New York Strangers Sports Associationis a Lower East Side Not-For-Profit organization established in 1998. We are committed to building mind, body and spirit through quality programs and services. In recognition of our commitment, we strive to promote our community with a safe and supportive environment for urban youth by providing them with Asian Americans adult role models. As members of New York Strangers Sports Association we pledge our loyalty to the ideals of unity, respect and community leadership.
We recognize and affirm the unique and intrinsic worth of each individual.
We treat each and every individual with compassion and kindness.
We act with absolute honesty, integrity and fairness in the way we conduct our business and the way we live our lives.
We trust our members as responsible role models and pledge to treat one another with loyalty, respect and dignity.
With our activities, we require youths to interact and develop both social and instructional skills.
In addition, we also strive to provide:
- a community of positive role models and peer relationships
- an opportunity to be a member of a supportive community
- a safe place for learning and teaching
- opportunities for leadership and service
- peer group support with academic and social issues
- opportunities for development in youth leadership
- a place where they can grow to be active members and
- representatives of their community
The Vikings organization was founded in 1956 where the group first met at Seward Park High School in lower Manhattan. All were recent arrivals from Tosian, China, a region where the early Chinese emigrated. They shared more than a common background and dialect, they shared a love for volleyball. As children in the villages back home, they recall watching the adult males play volleyball – a sport brought back to China from America by sojourners. As children of 8 or 9, they were not allowed to participate, so they improvised and imitated their heroes by devising a primitive version of the game, using a rope tied between two trees, and a ball made of scrap paper and strings.
When they formally organized in New York in 1956, there was already in existence a Chinese-American Volleyball Tournament on the east coast. The style of playing was different from the familiar Olympic style volleyball. These early players learned the game in China where the sojourners adapted and changed the American game. Nine men replaced six, no player rotation took place, the net was lowered, and games were played to 21 points. Volleyball is extremely competitive and popular in Tosian where frequent tournaments are considered to be a special event. There would be inter-village tournaments vying for honor. The adaptation by the sojourners created an entirely different game, but strangely enough, the Chinese still retain terminology such as “touch net”, “over”, “good ball”, “outside”, and “two ball”.
Because most of the Vikings arrived in America young enough to complete their high school here, and have an opportunity to attend college, they are the first generation of Chinese youths to know two cultures. The Vikings from the late 50’s and 60’s expanded their interest in other areas in addition to volleyball. They were community activists, social services volunteers, fundraisers, and tournament sponsors. Membership increased steadily. The organization’s health was also reflected on the court. In the decade of the sixties, the Vikings captured 5 championships, and nearly always finished close to the top.