Non-profit Ath­letic Haven to cel­e­brate 1st year

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Ath­letic Haven, a Cap­i­tal Dis­trict non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion whose mis­sion is to in­crease or­ga­nized sports op­por­tu­ni­ties for youth be­tween ages 7-17, will host The Or­ange Party, on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 27, 2017 at The Venue in Co­hoes. The or­ga­ni­za­tion was founded by area coach Scott McIn­tyre to pro­vide free sports travel teams and low­cost train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for kids who may oth­er­wise have given up on sports be­cause of per­for­mance, fi­nan­cial or ac­cess is­sues.

“Over the past 20 years, there has been an ex­plo­sion of or­ga­nized youth sports in our re­gion, and yet 70 per­cent of chil­dren stop play­ing sports by age 13 due to fi­nan­cial is­sues, poor coach­ing or be­ing cut from a team,” McIn­tyre said. “Ath­letic Haven seeks to level the play­ing field for kids who have given up on sports but can still ben­e­fit from the life lessons sports of­fers.”

Ash­ley Miller, a WNYT Sports an­chor, will serve as guest speaker at the fundrais­ing event. Tick­ets in­clude hor d’oerves, a buf­fet din­ner, dessert, and au­to­matic en­try into a “Spin to Win” raf­fle. A cash bar will also be avail­able. At­tire is “dressy ca­sual” and the event en­cour­ages at­ten­dees to wear their fa­vorite or­ange ap­parel.

“As a fairly new or­ga­ni­za­tion run en­tirely by area vol­un­teers, this event pro­vides a life­line to our ef­forts,” McIn­tyre said. “We

want the Or­ange Party to help us raise aware­ness about Ath­letic Haven’s mis­sion within the com­mu­ni­ties we serve and al­low us to cel­e­brate the mile­stones achieved within first year.”

Par­tial pro­ceeds from the event will sup­port the tsm Schol­ar­ship Fund, de­vel­oped in mem­ory of McIn­tyre’s 6-year old son Tyler, who died in 2012. Ath­letic Haven hon­ors his mem­ory by award­ing a col­lege schol­ar­ship an­nu­ally

to a stu­dent-ath­lete who dis­plays these qual­i­ties on an ev­ery­day ba­sis.

The Or­ange Party will also be a time to cel­e­brate what the or­ga­ni­za­tion has done for area youth ath­letes the last 16 months. Ath­letic Haven hosted its first 12U AAU boys’ bas­ket­ball team, the AH Al­lS­tars where play­ers came from all ar­eas of the re­gion and were men­tored by area coach Scott Glasheen.

Par­tic­i­pa­tion on the team is free, but ath­letes are re­spon­si­ble for ac­quir­ing a spon­sor­for their sea­son. Spon­sors sup­port the

player, do­nat­ing based on per­for­mance and qual­i­ties such as sports­man­ship, team­work, etc. At the end of the sea­son, the player will do­nate those funds to a lo­cal char­ity. This year’s re­cip­i­ent was Sch­enec­tady non-profit, Things of My Very Own.

“This as­pect teaches our youth that if you’re re­ceiv­ing some­thing for free, pay it forward, and give to the next per­son. Hope­fully they will take that les­son with them. These things are big­ger than sports. These are all things they can take with them for the rest of their lives,” said McIn­tyre. In 2018, Ath­letic Haven plans to cre­ate a sec­ond AAU bas­ket­ball travel team at the U14 level. Plans are also be­ing de­vel­oped for a spring 2018 soft­ball team. Try­out dates and regis­tra­tion in­for­ma­tion can be found on the Ath­letic Haven web site.

In ad­di­tion, Ath­letic Haven held sum­mer sports camps, weekly open gyms and a va­ri­ety of com­mu­nity events in the past year to sup­port its mis­sion of serv­ing youth ath­letes in the Cap­i­tal Dis­trict.

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