With the view to create a hands on mentoring program for boys and girls the Abaco Youth Football Association (AYFA) was formed, spearheaded by Dr. Ron Archer, Senior Pastor of the Green Turtle Community Fellowship.
The AYFA has grown to four areas with flag football teams in Green Turtle Cay, Treasure Cay, Man-O-War and Marsh Harbour.
The AYFA season will start September 21 with playoffs in November and a championship game in December. There will also be an end of the season banquet.
Dr. Archer said “I have planted and started churches all over the world and one of the things I have always done as part of my mentoring program was to start, build and coach a football program.
Michael Sawyer, a leader at the Green Turtle Community Church, was appointed commissioner of the AYFA. They held a fundraiser and received great support and were able to acquire necessary equipment.
Dr. Archer said that at their first practices in Green Turtle Cay “over 50 kids came out, we only had one football that a Regan Smith gave us to use and now we have over 12. We had over 50 kids, from ages 6-16 show up and we worked them.”
Dr. Archer said “Don’t wait until everything is perfect to start getting involved with young people. Do what you can with what you have with where you are and watch God bless your faith with favor.”
He said they received letters from parents on how the program was affecting their young men and that they were seeing better manners, better grades, more respect and they were better disciplined.
When they saw the positive impact of the football program they decided to start a league to include Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay and Man of War with future plans to expand into Nassau and Freeport.
Dr. Archer said the “goal for the football program is to help young boys to become disciplined, respectful, intelligent, spiritual young men by transforming their heads, hearts, hands, habits through coaching, mentoring, discipline and love.”
The AYFA has a Facebook page so parents can find out more information and receive updates on the league and when and where practices are taking place. Children ages 6 to 16 are invited to join in the area closest to them.