Students referee and coach youth sports


Seniors Michael Shepherd and John Hiemstra pose after a game with their CYA basketball team.

Brynn Feighery, Online Editor in Chief

In the community, there are many opportunities for students of all ages to get involved in athletics, including sports teams and clubs at the school; however, there are also house leagues, travel leagues and camps not affiliated with Fairfax County Public Schools.

The Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) is an organization that offers various levels of competition for a great range of sports for athletes of all ages to compete in. The practices and games are held in local gyms in order to be as accessible as possible.

“My favorite part about volleyball is hitting and blocking, but also the teamwork that goes into the game,” senior and CYA athlete Preksha Jerajani said.

If students play sports for the high school or other leagues, but still want to be involved in local sports teams, there are many ways to contribute to the youth athletic programs. There are options to both coach and referee.

For referees, there are options at various competition levels. There are house level leagues where the competition is more relaxed and the games are local. The travel leagues are often more competitive.

“My favorite part of [refereeing soccer] is the money because there is a lot of emotional abuse with athletes and parents yelling at you for making any type of call,” senior and soccer referee Karim Shoorbajee said.

For those interested in coaching, there are many ways to become active in the community.

“The best part about coaching youth volleyball was getting to know each of the girls and helping them improve their skills,” sophomore and volleyball coach Lindsay Jones said.

There is the traditional route of coaching a local youth team, but there are also ways to coach young athletes at local camps and other programs. Opportunities include coaching at athletic camps run at Chantilly and programs run by local community centers such as the nZone or YMCA.

“Coaching is definitely a great way to give back and teach younger kids what I have learned over my 10 years of basketball experience,” senior Shaan Chudasama said.