Billy Covington has served as the Jenkins Athletic Club Executive Director for more than 25 years. Under his leadership, he helped solidify the Club's standing as a beacon for youth athletics for both girls and boys.
Billy Covington joined the Jenkins Athletic Club in 1967 as a young member:
"The staff and the mentors of the club were a big influence on my life. It got me into basketball, where I was able to get a college scholarship.”
In 1933, the late Judge Victor B. Jenkins founded the Jenkins Athletic Club, formerly known as Jefferson Athletic Club for boys until his death in 1961. During the 28 years under the leadership of Judge Jenkins, and through the longstanding sponsorship of the Exchange Club of Savannah, the JAC focused on providing youth athletic opportunities to fill a void for children in Savannah with virtually no athletic programs in the public schools at the time of Jenkins' tenure.
As the public schools developed athletic programs, membership in the club dropped. Much thought was given by Judge Jenkins prior to his death on changing the club from principally athletics to other programs beneficial to young boys during their primary years. Upon his death, Jenkins left his entire estate to the JAC to continue the work of the organization of providing a safe and nurturing environment for youth athletic opportunities. Without this generous inheritance, it would have been impossible to keep the club going. Under the terms of the Jenkins' Will, the club is operated by a Board of Trustees.
In 1985, the building that housed the JAC located at 35th & Lincoln Streets was sold. Former president of the board, Wade Evans, led the Trustees into the most progressive building program in its history with the current building representing an investment of $410,000.
To better reflect the growing organization, the Club was officially renamed the Jenkins Athletic Club in 2015 and today is a comprehensive youth athletics center for BOTH girls and boys. For nearly 90 years, the JAC (a 501c3 nonprofit organization) has thrived as a result of the tireless work and service of the JAC board of directors, its members, and loyal supporters all who are dedicated to carrying on the legacy of the late Judge Victor B. Jenkins.
Our mission remains the same: to provide safe and accessible athletic facilities and youth programs for the girls and boys of Savannah.
WHY WE MATTER.
Athletic programs are considered by many a fundamental learning opportunity for children to fine tune many life-long lessons and values including commitment, perseverance, leadership, sportsmanship and teamwork. However, the accessibility of youth athletic facilities in our area did not keep pace with the expansion of youth athletics in schools.
For this reason and many others, the JAC’s survival is critical to the overall health and availability of youth athletics in Savannah. Over 500 girls and boys walk the halls and enjoy our facilities on any given week at the Jenkins Athletic Club. From t-ball to basketball, swimming, volleyball, flag football and more, we are at near capacity in our modest club year over year. In addition, the JAC provides programs for pre-middle school athletes not currently available in public schools.
We are working towards a strategic five-year plan to help us expand our Club capabilities and facilities to allow for additional space and opportunities for our youngsters to learn, play and grow. In the meantime, every dollar we can raise to support our mission is critical.
We are grateful for any gift to the Jenkins Athletic Club. Your donation would support the ongoing costs associated with facility upgrades, program improvements, and our overall mission.
President Don Smith
Vice President Patrick Graham
Treasurer Dewey Delettre
Secretary Mark Stevens
Executive Director Billy Covington
Board of Directors
Dr. Melissa Wynn
Dr. Chris Nicholson