Troy Boys and Girls Club Director Wayne Buchanan said the donations made by the Troy University National Association of Black Journalists will help the organization continue its mission of enabling all young people to reach their full potential.
On Thursday, Sept. 8, the NABJ presented the Boys and Girls Club of Pike and Surrounding Counties with a check to purchase new uniforms for its flag football team and cheerleaders.
The Boys and Girls Club are in their second year of competition for flag football, and last year the club came in second place for the championship. The club competes against other Boys and Girls Clubs in the region.
“We started the league last year and had great success with it,” Buchanan said. “It gives the opportunity for some of our youth, who may not have had that chance to play in organized sporting events, to participate,” he said.
Buchanan said the participants learn the fundamentals of football by playing the flag version.
“They know that there is not contact in flag football, but it’s not about that,” Buchanan said. “It is about learning the fundamentals of football, and learning the camaraderie of playing on a team.”
The flag football team consists of both boys and girls. Girls who do not wish to to play also have the option of being a cheerleader.
“It gives them a way to participate.” Buchanan said. “Not only will we have cheerleaders on the side line, if we travel out of town for games we take everyone in the club who would like to come to the game.”
NABJ President Jahmal Kennedy says that the association has formed a lasting relationship with the Boys and Girls Club.
“We had someone who had volunteered there,” Kennedy said. “The connection made it easier to communicate with them to see exactly what they needed, and how we could help.”
NABJ plans to continue giving to the Troy community. “For us to be able to sponsor a team like this makes us feel really good,” Kennedy said. “Knowing that their jerseys are paid for and they only have to worry about getting the small things means the world to us.”
The Boys and Girls Clubs begins its second flag football season on Wednesday, Sept. 21, and Buchanan said the club plans on going all the way to the championship this year.