Sports are an integral part of a child’s life, teaching children how to be disciplined and patient, how to cooperate with others, and how to be respectful. The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) is a diocese-wide sports league in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis that is devoted to introducing a variety of sports to children in third through eighth grades from all sorts of backgrounds and abilities.
Terry Hite is the CYO Co-Athletic Director who has seen the joy and formation that the athletes experience as they play with their peers.
“The CYO sports programs exist in the archdiocese to help young people practice virtue and live Gospel values through athletic experiences,” Terry says. “The goal is to help young people deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and one another, to celebrate the God-given gifts of each individual, and to enhance their faith formation and personal development by providing athletic, camping, and enrichment opportunities.”
Some of the most popular sports are girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, and co-ed soccer. However, there are other activities like chess, music contests, and a science fair.
There is something for every child to participate in and enjoy. Ultimately, CYO is about providing young people with the opportunities to grow as individuals in every facet of their lives. Often, CYO participants are accompanied by older peers who encourage and support them in the activities.
“CYO allows our younger, less experienced students to gain valuable mentoring from older students in a safe and encouraging environment,” Terry says.
Amidst the fun of sports and other activities, the pinnacle of CYO’s success is found in bringing our children to Christ and forming them in virtue. Much of this success is due to the excellent adult volunteers and coaches.
“Our adult volunteers witness to the Christian values of fair play, sportsmanship, honesty, respect, loyalty, patience, tolerance, gratitude, and humility in words and actions,” Terry says.
CYO is an amazing organization for young
athletes and their families to have fun and be formed in the faith. It offers a unique atmosphere for the youth to express their faith outside the typical Church setting and
experience true human formation outside a classroom. This is important for students who attend St. Michael school, public school, or are homeschooled.
Given this opportunity to excel at something they enjoy in an explicitly Christian atmosphere, our young people are taught the importance of living an authentically Catholic life as disciples of Christ.
Registration is required for every sport and is available at least two months before the season begins.
Families are encouraged to register their children for every sport that they are interested in participating in. This way, the CYO Athletic Directors can properly plan teams. Even if you register for multiple sports, the fee is not due until the first practice of the season for each sport. Financial assistance is available.
Parents are also encouraged to volunteer as coaches. The commitments are manageable with each season only lasting about six weeks. Any parish student, regardless of school affiliation, is eligible to play CYO sports.
For more information or to register a participant or a coach, visit:
www.bit.ly/SM-CYO. You may also contact the Athletic Directors via email at email@example.com.