Following a year filled with challenges for recreation directors navigating the pandemic, the staff at Yokosuka Naval Fleet Activities in Japan stepped up big in its return to providing high-quality programs.
And these terrific efforts helped it earn a prestigious Excellence in Youth Sports Award. The Excellence Awards were created by the National Alliance for Youth Sports and Athletic Business in 2000 and are annually presented to organizations who have gone above and beyond with a specific initiative, process, project, campaign, element or component of its program.
“The community sees that we have an awesome program and that keeps people coming,” said Roshawn Terry, the youth sports and fitness director at Yokosuka and a Certified Youth Sports Administrator. “It keeps volunteers coming in; it keeps kids participating; and it keeps staff coming in. We have a strong staff, and we are always looking to grow more and to do more.”
It certainly checked all those boxes during the past year.
The staff offered a Junior Run Club program for children ages 6 to 18; and then it kept kids busy all summer long by providing 19 sessions of sports camps that more than 400 children ranging in ages from 3 to 18 took part in. There were camps for Start Smart, basketball, baseball, soccer, paintball, hiking, mountain biking, and more.
Plus, throughout this year the staff conducted a series of fun-filled Nerf Battles – two of which took place on Cinco de Mayo and the Fourth of July – that more than 200 participated in. They run Nerf Battles for kids ages 6 to 9 and another for those ages 10 and up. Despite the pandemic, they continued to offer the annual Armed Forces Kid Run too, and are also doing laser tag for the first time this year.
“The youth sports staff at Yokosuka delivered an impressive array of innovative programming while navigating incredibly challenging circumstances,” said John Engh, executive director of NAYS. “By keeping kids engaged, active and safe they were able to positively impact countless young lives and are a most deserving recipient of the Excellence in Youth Sports Award.”
Kids love the opportunity to try something new, but many also love the fun and competition of participating in traditional sports offered on the base. Yokosuka’s fall sports programs feature Soccer and Flag Football camps, as well as its Junior Run Club Program.
On the first day of registration all its programs were filled to capacity, a true indication of how much families value and appreciate the great work being done by the youth sports staff to meet the needs of children and send them home every day with huge smiles on their faces.
“I am so excited for Roshawn and his team,” said Kristi Prince Moses, the Child Youth Programs Installation Director at Yokosuka. “They do all they can to provide sport and fitness opportunities with quality interactions. We have a huge base, and the parents have a lot of demands and expectations. Thank goodness we have Roshawn to lead the way to continually create programming and coordinate the coaches.”
Yokosuka Naval Fleet Activities is one of four organizations to earn an Excellence in Youth Sports Award this year. To be considered for an Excellence Award an organization must first be designated as a Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider. This designation shows that organizations have met benchmark standards when it comes to administering youth sports programs.
Yokosuka Naval Fleet Activities was honored during a special awards ceremony that took place at the 20th annual Youth Sports Congress in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 27-30. The four Excellence Award winners were also celebrated during the NAYS Virtual Youth Sports Congress on Nov. 16-18.Yokosuka Excellence Leadership
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