Some of the greatest athletes say that they got their start playing sports as kids and that's why the Jamesville-DeWitt Youth Athletics Association thinks it's so important to make sports accessible at an early age. As YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, the organization held a lacrosse festival that brought in about 1400 players to raise money for youth sports.
DEWITT, N.Y. -- It's the sound of kids sharpening their skills as lacrosse players.
"It's good because you see different players from different areas across the state and you play against them," said Jamesville-DeWitt Freshman lacrosse player, Sam Mueller.
The Jamesville-DeWitt Youth Athletics Association's holds its King of the Hill Lacrosse Festival every year, giving kindergartners to eighth grade an opportunity to compete.
"They're going to learn the basics through just practicing and playing and getting them at such a young age and having them come out here to play it's really a good chance for them to practice," said Jamesville-DeWitt High School Senior, Colin Stone.
The organization's goal is to make sports affordable and accessible.
The tournament is the biggest fundraiser for JDYAA with teams coming from Central and Western New York, as well as, the Southern Tier. Some of that money will also go towards the Save JD Sports campaign which helps fund modified sports in the district.
Modified sports programs are for kids in seventh and eighth grade.
"Our kids should not be playing sports from ages five to thirteen only to find out that the budget doesn't allow them to play from age, let's say 12 up to 15 and then they can play again. It's gotta be seamless," said Jamesville-DeWitt Youth Athletics Association Board of Directors Member, Mike Durkin.
Cameron Stone, now a lacrosse player in his junior year at Hobart College has benefitted from the seamless transition of youth to modified sports, then high school athletics and beyond. He says the two years of modified sports are invaluable.
"Players that have been able to play modified sports in younger grades are more, they have better flow to their game," said Cameron Stone.
That's why JDYAA continues to help support the Save JD Sports campaign. As of now, enough money has been raised to continue modified sports for 18 months. Giving students in the district a competitive edge on the playing field.
JDYAA expects to raise about $10,000 from the King of the Hill Lacrosse Festival.