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West Maui AYSO needs board members and volunteers

By Staff | Jun 23, 2016

More than 300 keiki are expected to play in West Maui AYSO’s upcoming season.

LAHAINA – There are some familiar names on the West Maui AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) Region 892 board of directors. Annie Hayes, James Hayes, Tony Griffith, Holly Pendergast, Annabehl Delaney, Sky Delaney and Nicole Okada have formed the leadership core of the organization for some 25 years now, and their noble task of mentorship continues despite ever-thinning numbers within their ranks.

According to Regional Commissioner Annie Hayes, there are six vacancies on the West Maui AYSO board. This shortage is complicated further by the ever-present need for coaches, referees and committed volunteers to guide the 300-plus keiki that are projected to sign up for the program in the continuing registration starting this Saturday, June 25, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Lahaina Intermediate School cafeteria.

Interested families may pre-register online at www.eayso.org, then bring in the printed and signed application forms for a speedy process. For further information, call (808) 669-6883, fax to (808) 667-2027, e-mail lahainaayso@msn.com, visit www.wetmauiayso.com, or go to West Maui AYSO on Facebook.

Practices will begin in early August, with kickoff for the 2016 season slated for Saturday, Sept. 10, designated Opening Games Day.

Hayes added that all forms are required for a child to be placed on a team in the league’s 45 teams ranging from the youngest in the Under 5 Division up to the U-14s.

AYSO has also developed and provides a program for children with special needs. Children who have physical or mental disabilities may choose to play on a V.I.P. team. Families who wish to participate in or learn more about the V.I.P. program are encouraged to contact the V.I.P. coordinator for information and details.

Emphasis is placed on AYSO’s child-centered mission statement of: Open Registration, Everyone Plays, Balanced Teams, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship, and Player Development.

“We take great care in creating short-sided, balanced teams, so the competition is fun and fair! Registration is open to everyone regardless of experience – no tryouts. Our coaches set a positive example and are provided with free training and certifications that are accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE). And always, good sportsmanship and player development are valued highly,” said Commissioner Hayes.

“Children in our program are not just learning to play soccer – they are learning valuable life skills like sportsmanship, being an exceptional team player, a good neighbor and citizen,” she continued. “We do have wonderfully committed volunteers who annually coach and referee in order for West Maui kids to play, most with no children in our program. We truly need active administrators to keep the program alive. Our program is at a very critical point only one board member has a child in our program. We have only the minimum trained volunteers to be in compliance with AYSO’s national guidelines. We need trained administrators at the helm; we need monetary funds for this year’s Player Development Week; we need active board members and committed volunteers to keep our backbone solid. We have a wonderful program with nearly 300 Lahaina kids playing annually and extra ‘hearts and hands’ are required to move us forward.”

Hayes recognized all of the league’s sponsors, including last year’s contributors that included Jim Falk Motors, Kona Ice Maui, Score, Westside Glass, Chevy Youth Sports, and Meadow Gold.

“Look for and please support Kona Ice Shave Ice Truck located on the main soccer field throughout the season. They are one of our annual sponsors/supporters and carry all the proper permits to be at our soccer fields. Regional sponsors greatly enhance our programs, helping us to provide training for our coaches, referees and regional staff. Field equipment is also purchased with donated funds. Also, thank you to the West Maui Parks and Recreation Department for their continuing top-flight maintenance of the fields we use,” she said.

“We feel that all of this training and the philosophies involved have made us better parents. By being so involved, we all learn to give back. Our kids learn to give back. And this gets the community involved,” Hayes concluded.