Hispanic and Portuguese youth are our largest local minority group, which is rapidly growing, along with their involvement in various sports. Tribuna has given the Danbury Athletic Youth Organization an opportunity to inform our Hispanic and Portuguese families about sports that they may not have been previously exposed to and now, we are seeing families registering their children in what are perceived as “American” sports.
Parents have shared that sometimes, the lack of participation in sports is due to financial costs or the assumption that the registration fees were going to be higher than stated. With many families trying to make ends meet, paying for sport registration fees is difficult, even if there are positive advantages such as seeing their child physically involved in getting exercise and getting fit. The language barrier can pose another obstacle for parents and make them feel uncomfortable in signing up their child for sports. In-person sign ups can be intimidating. When parents register their child, the forms are in English and parents may not be able to fill out the forms or answer the questions the person collecting the form may have regarding the participant. In DAYO, we have Spanish-speaking volunteers that can help by translating and explaining the sports program, and reassuring parents that their child will be okay.
Our Danbury community has numerous organizations that offer youth sports. DAYO offers Lacrosse, Basketball, Tackle Football, Cheerleading, Flag Football, T-Ball, Speed and Agility, and Track & Field. The ages are posted on our website. All these sports are open to all of Danbury’s boys and girls. You can send an email in English or Spanish to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call Estela at 203-530-2457 in English or Spanish.
Youth sports are where children are exposed to sports and if their interest continues, they may want to continue playing at the high school they will be attending. Some of our families do not realize that there are possibilities for sport scholarships for both girls and boys. Parents have the opportunity to open doors for child athletes by educating themselves about what sports and activities are out there in the community. The DAYO Board invites parents to their monthly meetings. The meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month. We are serious when we say we want our parents to be part of our organization. We want their children to feel they are part of our DAYO family.
I love to see new families registering their children in any of our sport programs because I know that their children will be experiencing hard work, teamwork and dedication, and get to know more children his or her age. Parents will see their children perform at their own pace and grow physically and mentally.
This article was written by Estela Camacho, Danbury Athletic Youth Organization (DAYO) secretary. For more information, visit www.dayosports.com, or contact Estela at 203-530-2457 or Bestelacamacho@sbcglobal.net.