By Noriko Kudo, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsMarch 13, 2019
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (March 13, 2019) - Camp Zama's Youth Sports and Fitness program was awarded the "Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider" designation in December 2018 for its stellar administration of youth sports programming.
The National Alliance for Youth Sports, a nonprofit organization, approved the designation after Camp Zama' program demonstrated itself to have met the five categorical requirements.
"Like the 'Good Housekeeping' Seal given to household products that meet high standards, the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation recognizes those organizations that have met an equally high standard when it comes to administering youth sports programming," the NAYS website says.
Brandon Bergeron, YSF director, said this was the first year Camp Zama submitted for consideration for the designation, so when their program learned they would receive the recognition, he considered it a great accomplishment.
"This is the first time we were able to apply for it, and we got it right away," said Bergeron. "For us it was very easy because we were already trying very hard to provide the best service possible."
The five categories needed to earn the designation are Accountability, Written Policies and Procedures, Volunteer Screening, Coach Training and Parent Education, with each category having between two to five sub-categories. When submitting for consideration, youth sports programs must demonstrate they are meeting the requirements set forth in each of these categories.
Bryant Davidson, YSF assistant director, said earning the designation means a lot to him and the rest of the YSF team.
"It means our hard work and dedication is being recognized," said Davidson.
Being recognized as a quality youth sports and fitness provider sends a message to the Camp Zama community that their YSF is providing programs that meet nationally established critical standards for safety and quality, said Bergeron.
"It lets parents know that their kids are safe with us in our program, and that everything we do is top-notch," said Bergeron.
Although the youth sports and fitness program is not the most visible organization on a military installation, it allows military and civilian parents and their children to have consistent and reliable access to physical activity and fitness-especially when those families are traveling from the United States to somewhere overseas, Bergeron said.
The Camp Zama YSF, Bergeron said, has always been a detail-focused program that learns from its mistakes in order to constantly help the program evolve and get better. With that in mind, he said, he and the YSF team are ready to reapply for the designation next year and every year going forward.