Pleasanton Weekly

Sports - May 7, 2010

2010 Special Olympics needs volunteers

Wide range of openings for May 22 event

by Jeb Bing

Volunteers are needed to help with the 2010 Special Olympics to be held Saturday, May 22 at Amador Valley high School.

Ken Mano, volunteer coordinator for the group, said help is needed as team escorts to assist coaches and teams during the day; for staging to assist athletes and help set up the events and to serve as track timers.

Volunteers are also needed to help with field Events, during the awards programs, at lunch, to set up the programs starting at 6:30 a.m. and to serve as gate monitors.

"This is a great opportunity to experience competitive athletics at their purist and most inspiring level," Mano said. "You will find that this is a volunteer activity that will change your life and attitude. This is a great opportunity for our athletes to 'give back.'"

To register, send an email to avboosters@comcast.net with your name, address, phone number and age, if under 18.

This is the seventh consecutive year that the Amador Valley High Athletic Boosters is hosting the event.

PJFL signs with national group for coaching education, background checks

The Pleasanton Junior Football League (PJFL) has enrolled its 24 contact division head coaches for USA Football's certified coaching education program.

The PJFL serves 550 contact football players, 500 flag football players and 100 cheerleaders living in Pleasanton, Castro Valley, Dublin, Fremont, Livermore, San Ramon and Tracy.

USA Football, the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels, has trained more than 30,000 youth football coaches in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., since 2007. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, as well as each of its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association.

For its players' benefit, the PJFL will require head coaches to complete USA Football's standard tackle coaching course at usafootball.com. To advance through the curriculum, which takes approximately two hours to complete, a coach must receive a cumulative score of at least 80 percent on the 11 course quizzes. The computer-animated course with audio narration covers coaching philosophy, practice planning and communicating with young players and parents.

In addition, the league's head coaches have become USA Football coaching members, providing them innovative resources including coaching insurance, a 3-D online computer-animated drills library with more than 150 drills, an online practice planner, USA Football's "Click 'n Create" online playbook and more.

Upon completing USA Football's CCEP, each coach receives a USA Football coaching certificate and has his or her name added to usafootball.com national coaches' registry.

Background checks for all head coaches will be performed by the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), the official check screening company of the United States Olympic Committee. NCSI performs searches in two national criminal databases as well as all state sex offender registries and county records. A 2007 study showed that 83 percent of parents say background checks on youth sports head coaches are important and 69 percent said they were more likely to enroll their kids into a league that conducts background checks on its volunteers.

USA Football's coaching education is important to our program in order to get information to teach the coaches on how to be better in their positions to help the kids in their development and understanding of the game," PJFL President and Dublin resident Dale Hazen said. "The subsidized background check program also provides safety for the kids and makes sure that our environment is safe."

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