WATERVILLE — The Alfond Youth & Community Center is piloting a pay-what-you-can payment model for the 2023-24 recreational basketball season.

Under the AYCC’s pilot program, any youth can register for recreational basketball and pay what they can afford to pay. Or, if they cannot afford to pay a fee, they can register for free.

The move comes as the AYCC prepares to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Waterville Boys Club in 1924. Basketball has been at the heart of recreational sports in the Waterville area and the Waterville Boys & Girls Clubs, in particular, for decades, according to a news release from the center.

“Financial barriers are real for Waterville area youth,” said Pam Trinward is a lifelong Waterville resident and recreational youth basketball enthusiast. “Basketball is a traditional Maine sport with deep roots in Waterville, and every area youth should have the opportunity to play the sport without cost as a barrier and reap the benefits of basketball, such as gaining increased confidence, learning to be a team player and developing positive communication skills. This pilot program removes that barrier and makes basketball a possibility for youth who, otherwise, may not have been able to afford to play as part of a recreational team.”

The parents or guardian of any youth from the AYCC Burger-Roy After School Program, Preschool Program or North End Learning Center who need a basketball or related clothing can request them as part of the AYCC’s new Family Wellness Wraparound Program. This free program, spearheaded by U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and made possible by Congressional funding, aims to improve the health, food security and well-being of Waterville families.

“At its core, the AYCC is about helping youth and families to reach their full potential, and many youth learn to find their potential through sports,” said Ken Walsh, chief executive officer, Alfond Youth & Community Center. “All too often, however, youth who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds lack the ability to pay the registration fee to participate, so they don’t even get the chance to play. Their potential is cut short just due to money. This pilot program is committed to making sure that doesn’t happen, and that every youth who wants to play and learn from the sport has the opportunity to do so.”

To learn more, visit clubaycc.org or call 207-873-0684 or email info@clubaycc.org.


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