The Abaco Youth Football Association (AYFA) will soon begin its fourth season of youth flag football and new President Rich Roberts is looking forward to some great things as growth is expected to continue.
In 2013 AYFA began building a youth mentorship league with just over 120 youth in three communities (Green Turtle Cay, Marsh Harbour and Man-O-War) and by the end of the third season there were over 180 children participating from five communities.
According to Mr. Roberts there is the potential for at least two more communities to join AYFA and expand the programs reach and effect even further across Abaco. AYAF is a mentorship program that utilizes the sport of flag football to engage the body, mind and hearts of the youth in a positive character building environment.
Parents are encouraged to be on the lookout for when a community team will begin their sign-ups and practices, which most begin in August if not before.
For community leaders who are seeking to put together a team the age groupings are 6 to 9, 10 to 13 and 14 to 17 and team fees of $50 per age group are required to be in on or before August 22.
Player forms and, for new players, ID’s are due in by September 10 and the cost is $15 for registration and $15 for insurance. September 30 is the cutoff date for any additions to a team’s roster, no additions to roster will be accepted after this date.
Due to past issues with the league play overlapping into the New Year the league decided this year to finish before the Christmas Holidays with playoffs on November 26 and the Championship Games to be held on December 3.
Last season saw great competition even from the new teams – Murphy Town and Cooper’s Town – and the Green Turtle Cay Falcons again walked away with the top prize for both Peewees and Juniors Division and the Man-O-War/Hope Town Sharks won the Senior Division Championships.
Each year is a challenge but through the kind donations and hard work of numerous individuals the league is able to not only facilitate the season and get the kids safely to and from the various venues, but have also every season been able to have the Championship Games broadcast live on Cable Channel 12 (NB12).
The league thanks the many people who volunteer to coach, referee, and cook and sell food and drinks and contribute in so many ways. Thanks is also given to those who take pictures of each game and help to build lasting memories of all that has taken place over the years.
AYFA pays a special tribute to one of our wonderful and dearly departed photographers, Tuppy Weatherford, who memorialized so many moments and captured in time so many priceless memories over the years, and not of just youth flag football games.
For more information on volunteering, contributing, or teams in your area you may contact Rich Roberts at 554-9564 or Timothy Roberts at 577-4846.