Non-profit Athletic Haven to celebrate 1st year
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.