Whether out on the soccer fields or standing on the basketball court, Warrenton Youth Sports Club’s (WYSC) mission is to provide a positive space for youth athletes to train and become part of a community and team.
WYSC, a nonprofit organization in Fauquier County since 1999, offers a variety of sports, including volleyball, basketball, lacrosse and soccer. In addition to girls and boys teams, they also provide coeducational teams. From relaxed recreational teams to competitive travel teams, there is an option for every kid regardless of skill level. Age requirements can range anywhere from three to eighteen.
Seventeen-year-old Riya Avaiya participated in WYSC for nine years after starting in 2011 and played recreational basketball, soccer and volleyball.
“My experience overall was great. I got to get into sports that I didn’t get to do in school and be part of teams full of generous and kind people,” Avaiya said.
Avaiya added that she would recommend the program to new families.
“Children will learn so many team skills, and the sports are less competitive, leaving room to have fun while playing,” she said.
Parents who want to be involved in their child’s sport can volunteer to be a coach or an assistant coach. Because WYSC is a nonprofit organization, they are always looking for people to help out. Some sports require that volunteer coaches obtain an entry-level certification at a certification clinic.
Dawn Roda, mother of three daughters, started the volleyball program at WYSC and coached volleyball and soccer with the organization. She said that volunteer coaching was important to her as a parent.
“I grew up playing sports, and I am a teacher in the county. So coaching and staying involved in my children’s sports was a great opportunity for me,” Roda said. “I got to be a parent plus coach sports I love and help develop other players, not just my own daughters.”
For anyone 17 years and older, the WYSC program offers an Adult Coed Volleyball League. The program runs in the fall and spring and includes eight weekly games with a tournament at the end of the season.
“My experience overall was great. I got to get into sports that I didn’t get to do in school and be part of teams full of generous and kind people,”riya Avaiya
Most of the summer camps offered by the program focus on a specific sport, such as soccer or lacrosse. However, the WYSC Kids Fest camps integrate a variety of sports and activities that kids can participate in during the week. Kids Fest comes together three times over the summer. Campers participate in training and education in sports such as soccer and volleyball, play games such as ping pong and flag football and participate in outdoor and indoor activities.
In addition to sports, the WYSC also hosts community activities such as 5Ks. This year, they will host their first annual Beat the Heat 5K at Verdun Adventure Bound. The course offers beautiful scenery and challenging terrain for runners to enjoy.
WYSC strives to provide a positive and encouraging atmosphere for athletes to grow their athletic abilities. As their mission states, they want to create an environment for all athletes that “builds confidence, develops character and helps them acquire the skills needed to achieve their fullest potential in becoming productive, community-minded, responsible adults.”
Families can register their children for a team on the WYSC website. Registration requirements and prices vary based on the sport. Practice and game dates and times also vary.
For more information visit www.wysc.org.
By Rachel Singleton