Sports are an integral part of a child’s life. They teach 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 Kansas City that is devoted to introducing a variety of sports to children in third grade to eighth grade from all sorts of backgrounds and abilities.
Curtis Wondra is a longtime CYO volunteer and coordinator who is passionate about helping kids have fun while growing in faith and confidence.
“CYO is about leading our youth to Christ through sport,” Curtis says. “We use sports to help them identify the talents and gifts that God has given them.”
Corpus Christi has a long history of making boys’ and girls’ teams for each sport that CYO offers and has had great success using athletics to form children into confident boys and girls.
Some of the most popular sports are boys’ and girls’ basketball and boys’ and girls’ track and field. However, there are other sports like cross country, boys’ and girls’ flag football, and girls’ volleyball. The various sports are split into several seasons, which allows every child to participate in multiple sports throughout the year.
“Sports are a big part of childhood and are prevalent in our society for their entertainment and competitive spirit,” Curtis says. “They are about being in conflict with the opposing team and the challenge is to remain a good sport while entering the conflict. We focus on being the better person on the court or field. Being a good sport is based on our morality, which the Catholic faith teaches.”
While coaching the eighth-grade basketball team, Curtis witnessed the team grow in virtue as the season progressed.
“During a competitive game, one of our players was out of bounds while making a play and the official missed the call,” Curtis says. “It was a close game and the missed call was going to be consequential either way. Our player petitioned the official to switch the call and mark him out of bounds.”
Most teams and players would never enforce a missed call against themselves — however, this small act of integrity demonstrates that CYO is unique in its mission of forming young people through athletics.
CYO is a parish and community-based organization. Last year there were 88 families with 132 athlete participants. Most families are
parishioners, but you do not need to be in order to participate.
The organization is run entirely by volunteers. Coaches and adult volunteers are living out the stewardship spirituality by offering their time and talents to our parish and our athletes.
There are many different ways to serve — CYO needs coaches, scorekeepers, and concession stand attendants.
“This is a fun opportunity to be a good steward of your time,” Curtis says. “The games are played in Kansas City, and the drive alone can be a sacrifice of time for parents especially. I love these drives because they give me the opportunity to spend time with my children.”
If you are interested in registering your child for a sport or would like to volunteer, contact Curtis Wondra at email@example.com.