Free sports for Albany County kids

ALBANY COUNTY —  Flag football in Bethlehem and track and field in Voorheesville have been added this summer to the county’s free Amateur Athletic Union sports program.

Flag football and lacrosse are already in place in Green Island, Cohoes, Watervliet and Ravena, as are track and field in Cohoes, and baseball in Voorheesville, Watervliet, and Ravena.

This first-of-its-kind partnership between the Albany County Department of Recreation, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, and the AAU covers the cost of not only expensive equipment, but insurance as well, allowing every child in Albany County the opportunity to enjoy AAU-sanctioned sports, according to a release from the county executive’s office.

While overall participation among kids in youth teams is in decline, the release said, most of that decrease can be attributed to participation rates among children from lower-income families. From 2011 to 2017, participation in programs like expensive travel leagues for families with incomes above $100,000 rose from 66 percent to 69 percent. For families that make below $25,000 over that same time period, participation dropped from 42 percent to 34 percent.

Other sports offered to Albany County youth throughout the year include karate, ice-skating, and ice hockey. These sports are available locally this summer:

— Baseball in Voorheesville for youth ages 7 to 13 at a baseball camp that runs from 10 am to 1 p.m. weekdays from Aug. 12 to 23, at the high school satellite fields at 432 New Salem Road;

— Track and Field in Voorheesville for youth ages 11 to 17 on weekday evenings, July 29 to Aug. 9, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Voorheesville’s high school at 432 New Salem Road; on Tuesday, July 30, participants will attend the Colonie summer track meets at South Colonie High School, starting at 6 p.m.;

— Flag Football in Bethlehem, at Elm Avenue Park, Saturdays, July 27 to Aug. 31, for youth ages 5 to 7, from 9 to 10 a.m.; for ages 8 to 10, 10 to 11 a.m.; and for ages 11 to 14, 11 a.m. to noon; and

—  Karate in Berne and Clarksville for youth ages 5 to 14, Tuesdays, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary School, 1738 Helderberg Trail, and at the Sheriff’s Department station, 58 Verda Ave. in Clarksville.

For more information or to sign up, go online to:


More Community news

  • BETHLEHEM — On Saturday, July 20, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is hosting a free Summer Hike-a-thon. This day-long celebration allows each participant to design an ideal summer day with free activities throughout the morning and into the afternoon with an emphasis on hiking and outdoor fun. 

  • Albany County is encouraging senior citizens to get out of the house and socialize with others by offering them free meals at participating local restaurants. 

  • VOORHEESVILLE — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County is offering a series of food preservation classes for adults this summer on these topics: Pressure Canning Low Acid Foods, Making Jams and Jellies, Tomatoes 101, and Fermented Foods.

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