Youth league sports reaps benefits of CCUF

Published 12:01 am Thursday, October 21, 2010

City of Andalusia youth sports coordinator Barbara Tyler said Wednesday that “a large portion of our families” have benefited from scholarships to allow families with more than one child to play in recreational sports.

These scholarships are made possible by the Covington County United Fund, which kicked off its fund drive Sept. 27.

The reduced fees only affect the charge for registration of family members or scholarship requests.

Tyler said she doesn’t know if the youth sports league, which covers seven sports including baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf and swimming, will get any funding this year, yet.

“The money we get from United Fund in general, helps make the programs doable,” she said. “We offer scholarships to families in need, in particular if they have more than one child, or a single parent with financial difficulties.”

Tyler said the city received $9,941 from United Fund for 2010.

“Basically, we make it a little more affordable for not only parents that financially have a strain — which is everybody now — but those families with more than one child that plays in those sports,” Tyler said. “Having that money from United Fund helps us do that, and still be able to cover the cost of the programs.”

When asked what individual programs the money helps pay for, Tyler said it mainly helps with two things — game officials (umpires) and scholarships.

“We like to say whatever they pay registration-wise covers the cost of their shirt or jersey, but then you’ve got things like insurance and the officials,” she said. “But really the biggest thing for us is scholarships and the money to help with the officials.”

High school students from Covington County mostly serve as officials.

In the end though, the means do out weigh the costs, Tyler said.

“It teaches sportsmanship, to be a team player, to work in a group and to respect others,” Tyler said. “We just greatly appreciate those in the community that give — even those that don’t have children, they were kids once. We as a community need to think about taking care of our community, and this is one way they can.”

Donations to CCUF are tax-deductible, and can be mailed to Covington County United Fund Inc., P.O. Box 1791, Andalusia, AL, 36420, or by calling 428-2101.

An Andalusia Arrows all-star pitcher throws the ball. Youth league sports are one of the many agencies that recieve funds from the United Fund. | Andrew Garner/Star-News