YOUTH SPORTS STORIES OF IMPACT
YMCA Youth Sports parent Craig Spears shares the positive impact youth sports at the Y have had on his son Haydon.
"One of our favorite things about the YMCA is their ability to create an environment that is open and nurturing to all kids regardless of their ability or circumstance. My son, Haydon, is an amazing 8 year old boy. He has an incredible heart and a strong desire to please others. He is also very passionate about all sports and talks and plays them every day.
We knew that Haydon had some developmental delays early on in his life. He was late to talk and had a lot of sensory issues that made it difficult for him to communicate with others especially his peers. This made it harder for him to socialize and develop friendships. He was diagnosed in Kindergarten as being on the Autism Spectrum. He is very high functioning and thrives in school, but sometimes he still struggles socially. For that reason, when he showed an interest in participating in sports, we were reluctant. We wondered how he would do in a team environment.
We decided that the YMCA would be the best place for him to begin and WE WERE RIGHT! The YMCA’s core values make them a perfect fit. They welcomed Haydon with open arms. He started playing baseball, went onto soccer and most recently, basketball. Each team embraced Haydon and allowed him the opportunity to forge friendships and learn new skills on and off the field. Youth Sports at the YMCA has allowed our son as well as many other wonderful children the opportunity to participate in its various sports."
Here is what one grandmother had to say about basketball at the YMCA:
"My experience with the game was excellent! The coaches were great, very patient with the kids. I love the way the coaches explained things to the children. This was a great experience for my 4 year old granddaughter. It boosted her self-esteem. Not only did she learn a new sport, she made new friends. She took pride in being the only girl on the team! She learned that you need to share and that it is teamwork. She was so proud to get her medal at the end of this game. She couldn't wait to show it to everyone. I love that the Y does this instead of trophies!"