Youth sports: Don’t miss out on a truly priceless opportunity


At each Selinsgrove AYSO preseason coaches meeting, Regional Commissioner Jake Mangels shares some statistics via a Powerpoint slide that can be somewhat sobering.
According to his conservative estimates, the 40 coaches/assistants, 10 referees and eight regional board members of the Selinsgrove region — which boasts 360 registered youth soccer players this spring — provide a $114,000 benefit to the local community.
And that’s just the Selinsgrove region for AYSO soccer. Factor in regions in Danville, Warrior Run, Milton, Northumberland, Line Mountain, Mifflinburg, Lewisburg, West Snyder and Middleburg — among others — and you’re approaching nearly $1 million in volunteer manpower invested directly in shaping the lives of our young people.
Little League easily doubles that number. Not to mention the countless other youth sporting opportunities available in the greater Susquehanna Valley.
Volunteers are at the core of all these organizations, and without volunteers, they’d collapse. There would be no AYSO or Little League or Pee Wee football. Children would miss out on learning much more than the fundamentals of a certain sport. The value of youth sports goes well beyond dollars and cents.
For many people, youth sports are the primary way to learn about positive teamwork, encouraging others and building positive self-esteem. It is much more than goals or home runs or touchdowns scored. It goes beyond the scoreboard, beyond the wins and losses.
In that vein, youth sport volunteers offer much more than $1 million in value to our region. Their impact is truly, completely and utterly priceless.
Are you a part of that puzzle? Part of the master plan that helps our children develop character at a young age?
If not, there is still a need. Activity on the AYSO and Little League fields is as much a sign of spring as robins and north-bound flocks of geese.
You don’t need to make a commitment to being a full-time volunteer coach. There are ample opportunities for new referees, those to help with fundraisers and even a few people to help line fields or mow grass.
To find youth sport volunteer opportunities, visit the Daily Item Youth Sports Facebook page, where many of the local youth sports organizations share pictures, updates and other information. You can also check out the national websites such as or


Posted on March 22, 2015, in Family, Kids, Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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