Christian Youth Athletics was founded in 1978 to provide youth ages 4-13 with the opportunity to participate in recreational and competitive athletic programs in a positive environment.
Our mission is to train and equip youth to not only take care of their physical bodies, but to also become individuals of great character, compassion, and personal excellence. Our athletic programs go beyond just the basics of teaching sports to ensure that players are given the opportunity to grow physically, socially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Christian Youth Athletics instills sportsmanship, self-discipline, character education, academic excellence, nutrition, self-care, community service opportunities, and proper foundations for players to develop a lifestyle of fitness.
Christian Youth Athletics strongly encourages community engagement and parent involvement by creating numerous opportunities for both parents, mentors, and players to build and strengthen relationships with one another and throughout the community.
Scroll down to learn more about the start of Christian Youth Athletics from our founder.
Our basketball season runs from early January through early March. Players learn dribbling, passing, shooting, and offensive and defense strategies in a competitive and supportive environment. Practices & games on Saturdays in the Parkville area.
Our spring baseball season runs from April through late June. Players learn strategies for catching, throwing, hitting, and playing the field in a competitive and supportive environment. Practices are Tuesday evenings & Games are Saturday mornings in the Loch Raven area.
Our outdoor fall soccer season runs from early September through late October. Players learn how to dribble, pass, shoot, and play various field positions. Practices are Tuesday evenings & Games are Saturday afternoons in the Loch Raven area.
Christian Youth Athletics offers a variety of season programs for children and families throughout the year such as tournaments, fitness classes, parent games, and family fun days.
In 1980, I was serving as a youth pastor at the Rock Church in Virginia Beach and was involved in developing programs for young people. At that time my son, Matthew was just getting to the age where he wanted to be involved in sports and I had a great desire in my heart to put together a sports program for kids. A program based on Godly principles.
One evening, I called a meeting of all the people in the church who were interested in being involved with the youth. That night a really unique thing happened.
During the meeting, I shared all of the programs we were planning for the kidspuppets, clowns, roller-skating, etc. Then, at the end of the meeting I said, "You know, I'll just throw this out. I have a great desire in my heart to see a sports program for kids. A program where they would not have to deal with the ugly element that is in a lot of the sports programs today. Where they could enjoy the game and experience competition, but not have to experience the ugly element of bad attitudes and negative influence."
Well, a man, who I had never seen before, raised his hand and said he would like to speak to me after the meeting. As the meeting ended, we sat together and this is what he shared with me. He identified himself and explained that he was one of the seven men who are responsible for developing the rules and regulations for the National Softball Association! Then, my ears really pinged when he said that he had put together a sport program similar to what I had in mind in California! His program had 45 teams! And that's not all. I lit up even more when he said, "I am also part owner of a sporting goods store in California."
Well, that man sat with us for two months and helped us design the entire program. He showed us how to set it up down to the last detail from player concerning everything agents to uniforms. And then, he offered to get us the needed equipment at 50% off! A
$5,800 bill was reduced to $3,100! And we were off and running.
That first year was a tremendous blessing. I went around and grabbed a bunch of guys in the church who I knew played ball, and who loved the kids, and I said, "Hey, let's put this thing together." We got new uniforms, put together 6 teams and played the whole season. We had a tremendous time. At the end of the season we had a picnic and we even gave away trophies. But the greatest thrill of all was this: by the end of the first season two dads had gotten saved and had begun to come to church!
The following year we grew from 6 teams to 15. The third year we had 23. During that third year we had some kids here on the east coast who said, "Hey, can we start a CYA surfing league?" So we did. The Lord blessed this as well. At our first contest three kids got saved. What a blessing and joy it was to see the kids talking and witnessing to others on the beach. Most recently we decided to add soccer to the CYA calendar. And sure enough, this year we will have 18 soccer teams.
From the very beginning the Lord blessed us as we organized sports activities within our own church. But then an amazing thing happened. All of a sudden I began receiving telephone calls from other churches. One from a local Assembly of God church. One from an independent Pentecostal Church. And one from a Presbyterian Church in the area. They all said, "Hey, we hear you have a sports league. How can we get involved?" And so I began to set up guidelines for involving other churches.
It was as these other churches became involved that I noticed a tremendous thing happen. One afternoon, while at a game, I noticed something. The pastor of a local Assembly of God Church was seated on the bench watching his daughter play. On that same bench were three elders from a Presbyterian Church. They were all getting excited together. They were cheering together. Together, pastors and ministry from all different denominational backgrounds were enjoying themselves and their kids. A sport has the ability to bring an equality to people. And when I saw that these people were comfortable with each other, I knew that God would bless CYA.
Needless to say, all of this began with some scriptural principles. At the very beginning God gave me a scripture: "Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6. Just as there is training in the home, in baseball the kids are also in training. The Lord showed me that in training, as these kids play sports, we were also to teach them the ways of God. And so from the outset we established scriptural guidelines for all involved. No vulgarities. No yelling. The coaches were to speak words that encourage not words that tear down. In all things the CYA leaders are to stand before the kids as Godly men and women.
The day I started working on CYA, as my wife and I were praying, she reminded me of a prophetic word that came through Sister Violet Kiteley eight or nine years earlier. The word was that there was a rainbow over my head, and whatever I would ask of the Lord for the kids, he would give it because I would ask not for myself but for the kids. And so remembering this I said, "Lord, these are little kids, my own kids. Let CYA be established in righteousness. Let it be a program where kids can play good ball with joy and love in their midst."
Youth sports and recreation are a vital part of healthy communities. Youth need purposeful opportunities to engage with others.
Team sports enable youth to socialize, learn sportsmanship, self-discipline, hard work, healthy habits, and build character!
There are many ways to support the league and get involved! From coaching to sponsoring teams, we welcome community engagement and involvement.