Tag Archive | "southampton youth services"

SYS Considers an Ice Rink

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By Kathryn G. Menu

Wearing a New York Rangers jersey, last Thursday Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst remembered all too well the journey East End parents of children interested in year round hockey or figure skating have to endure. Generally, their commitment involves driving their kids to the Rinx in Hauppauge, often as early as 4 a.m., via the Long Island Expressway.

“I am sure that hasn’t changed,” she said. “But only increased.”

If Southampton Youth Services (SYS) proves successful, skaters may soon have a rink to call their own.

Last Thursday, members of SYS presented preliminary plans to the Southampton Town Board for an indoor ice rink at the SYS athletic facility at North Sea Park. SYS Director Scott Johnson made the pitch on behalf of the SYS board of directors, who were also on hand for the presentation.

“We have been talking to people for a couple years and this kind of started to heat up more recently than not,” said Johnson, referring to an earlier proposal by a separate business to build an ice rink with SYS.

While that proposal waned, Johnson said SYS has looked at other options and believes it has settled on a plan at least worth exploring financially.

Originally, said Johnson, SYS looked to the Southampton School District and a nine-acre parcel next to the SYS property that was donated to the school district by Tony Panza, one of the developers of the Courtyards townhouses on Major’s Path. However, said Johnson, the school district was not interested in selling the property, preferring to lease it for no longer than 10 years at a time, making it unviable for the project.

As a “plan b,” Johnson said SYS looked towards the town-owned athletic field, which he said was somewhat underutilized and has parking nearby. SYS could commit, he added, if the project moves forward, to develop a multi-use field on SYS property for town use.

The initial proposal calls for a two-rink facility, although Johnson noted that could change depending on how cost estimates work out. Johnson said eventually SYS would like to see school hockey teams develop using the rink. Camp programs, figure skating and accommodating everyone from toddlers to seniors interested in getting on the ice is a priority, said Johnson, as will be operating the rink on a year round basis.

SYS board members said they want to make sure they can run the facility under the umbrella of the youth organization, rather than contract the rink out to another management company as it does at its main facility, which is run by Future Stars.

Board president Mark Antilety noted the cost, and time associated with a feasibility study on the financial ability for SYS to move forward with a formal plan for an ice rink, has been reduced because of previous efforts to build a rink associated with the organization. The next step is a feasibility study, which Antilety said they hope to complete in the next two to three months.

Board members largely supported the idea, although Councilman Chris Nuzzi said he looked forward to the feasibility study results and Councilman Jim Malone urged the board to ensure any lost town parkland was made up for in another location.

“Prioritizing ice where we have not been able to prioritize ice anywhere else is a really, really good thing for us,” said Throne-Holst.

Scott Johnson

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WEB convo scott johnson

Conversation with…

Scott Johnson, Executive Director of Southampton Youth Services (SYS) on the facility’s beginnings, how it’s grown, where it’s headed and the 5th annual Family Fun Day taking place there this Saturday.

This is the fifth annual Family Fun Day at SYS. Tell me a little about some of the activities you have planned for this year and how the event has changed over the years.

It’s continued to grow. Last year we had about 1,000 people come through. This year we’ve added GameStreet a mobile trailer with video games for kids. It has five different screens, so kids can sit down and play games together. It’s really great for some of the older kids who may have aged out of some of the younger activities.

What is the goal of Family Fun Day?

We really want the community to come out and this is a chance for us to give something back. We want people to see the building and the facilities, whether they have supported us in the past, or are people who are new to the area. We get to show off.

It’s not a big money maker, it’s just $10 for adults, $5 for teens and younger kids get in free – but every dollar raised goes to our scholarship program which helps kids who don’t have the means to take part in a program or join SYS. We deal with those kids after school and in other programs — whether it’s Future Stars, gymnastics or karate. Part of the deal for those groups who offer their programs here is to also give back with scholarships.

SYS opened its doors in 2003 and many of us can remember a time before there was an SYS. What in the world did kids do out here before that?

That’s why I got involved in the organization. There were 17 or so of us on the original board. All of us were local parents and coaches. My son was 5 years old and I just wanted to shoot baskets with him. I was thrown out of every gym in the area. It was a liability, of course. There was no free place for kids to just go and play.

So we made a pitch to the town board, we threw a baseball to them and I think they thought we were crazy. They said, ‘Go for it, and good luck.’ At the same time there were some persistent folks on the board who were determined to make this happen, hell or high water.

A big hurdle was cleared when Southampton Town agreed to allow SYS to put the facility on land adjacent to the Major’s Path transfer station, but what were some of the other stumbling blocks along the way?

Being a grass roots organization, we were raising $25 or $50 when we needed a few million to make it work. Fundraising began around 9/11. As a board, we were not sure we should even move forward after that. But we figured let’s go for it and started raising funds, getting pledges and finding great sponsors.

All it takes is a quick trip upisland to see any number of facilities and programs geared toward making kids top athletes. Was that important to you as a board?

We weren’t looking just for the competitive athlete, we wanted it to be for all, whether you were a terrific athlete or not, an actor or a gymnast. We wanted a well rounded recreation center. There really is nothing else out here — we’re really the hub for activity in Southampton. We just started a rattle and stroll program moms to get in shape, so we have members from infancy to one who’s 102 years old.

How does the facility we see today differ from the initial vision of 10 years ago?

At first, we wanted to build a basketball court and that was it. Then we got together with the board and it became 30,00 square feet, then 45,000 then 55,000 square feet. And we hadn’t even broken ground. I thought wait, we haven’t done any of this. But we spoke to people out in the community about the activities they wanted. We went to the senior center. We never had an elevated track in the drawings, but they needed a place to walk in winter. In other places they walk at the mall. It’s been a great addition. Since then we’ve added 6,000 square feet of squash courts, 4,000 square feet of gymnastics space. We now have 65,000 square feet and we probably have 3,000 members. Last spring we added eight tennis courts, four of which are covered.

What difference have you seen SYS make in the lives of kids and what are some of the programs you’re most proud of?

I run a basketball league for kids in third to eighth grade. We have 450 kids from William Floyd to Montauk and it’s something I’m proud of. I’m also a certified official for school games. I see kids at third grade and then I see them at the varsity level — I see them blossom through their middle school and high school career.

Looking ahead, what does SYS have planned for the coming years by way of activities or facilities?

It’s not necessarily top secret – we’re just tying to move forward. We have a number of ideas in the infancy stage. One is an outdoor covered ice rink to be used from November to March for a competitive hockey league or kids learning to skate.

SNAG Golf for kids 5 to 7 has been very well received. It’s sold out right through March. It stands for Starting New At Golf and it’s run by the pro from South Fork Country Club, Tim Garvin. It’s a great way to learn, the kids use big clubs and aim for targets. There’s a thought to bring a golf range here year round and we think we can make a go of it.

Squash has also turned out to be very popular, right?

This is really the first public facility in America, all the others are private clubs driven by the wealthy. We have after school programs for local kids and Saturday clinics for adults. I didn’t know what squash was when we were first approached. After 10 minutes in there I was dead – next day trying to sit down, forget it. It’s a great game and a great cardio workout.

So speaking of workout, can we expect to see you in the bouncy castle this weekend at the Family Fun Fair?

If you had a dunk booth you might see me in there. We’ll be out there selling food and having a great time. We’re just hoping for good weather.

Pros Put on World Class Cyclocross Show

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web CycloCross at SYS_9841

By Benito Vila

With bright helmets, sleek eyewear and sponsor-splashed skin tight team wear, riders in last weekend’s Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup at the Southampton Youth Services recreation center on Majors Path looked like they came out of the sky.

Whipping in and out of the woods and across the fields, the cyclocross professionals rode and ran the rugged course astounding the young and old alike. No obstacle or grade was too much, their speed and agility displaying unimaginable stamina and drive.

The event, part of the East Coast-based MAC Cyclocross Series and the International North American Cyclocross Trophy (NACT) series, turned the SYS facility into an impromptu happening, sponsor tents, team trucks, cycle magazine photographers, hip music and humorous announcers creating an other worldly spectacle.

The frenzy started Saturday morning and ended towards sunset Sunday, Cannondale Cyclocross.com rider Tim Johnson and his teammates, Jeremy Powers and Jamey Driscoll setting the pace in the men’s events each day. Johnson’s win in Sunday’s finale earned him Sunday’s Super Cross Cup title and the NACT championship belt.

In winning, Johnson credited his teammates, saying, “With three of us in the mix, there’s a lot of drive between us to do well.” Johnson also praised the course and his competition in noting “a nice elevation gain” and “all the best guys are here.”

He also appreciated the venue for its facility and its modest size. “Sometimes when we’re out west in Boulder, Portland, Seattle and northern California, we have as many as 1500 racers; here we had 50. But Myles [Romanow, the event coordinator] has made this a got-to-get-to event.”

Romanow, who heads HamptonVelo, a local bike club, in turn, praised the Town of Southampton’s vision in developing the recreation center and allowing the riders to use its yard. “Our summer traffic prohibits road racing so having this facility is really key. We’re lucky to have here one of the best venues in North America, with warm up areas and changing rooms.”

One of the “innovations” Romanow introduced to the Super Cross Cup at the event’s outset in 2005 was equal prize money for women. That attracted those elite riders, the men following in the five years since.

The weekend’s women winners were all from different teams, but all from Colorado, Amy Dombrowski of Boulder finishing first and Kelli Emmett of Colorado Springs and Georgia Gould of Fort Collins, second and third.

Romanow also appreciated the involvement of Spokespeople, a local bike advocacy group, who hosted a mid-day kids’ event. “Having them involved made this an even better day for everyone. It helped get the community more involved in what we’re doing. And what we have is a really spectator-friendly form of cycling.”

Gymnastics Open House at SYS

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It’s getting dark early and there’s chill in the air, but that’s no reason not to stay fit or get out and about. The Southampton Youth Services recreational facility on Majors Path (SYS) has a full offering of indoor activities for the entire family.

This weekend Hampton Gymnastics East is hosting an open house on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Program Directors Bob Trakoval and Paul Cesario have over 40 years gymnastics teaching experience and will provide professional instruction for all age groups and ability levels. Their classes start November 16. Call (631) 377-3545 for more information

In addition to gymnastics, SYS also has added new squash, basketball, craft workshops and dance programs for kids. Adults will find squash, hip-hop and Latin dance, scrapbooking and yogalates programs on their schedule. More information is available by calling 287-1511 or by visiting sysinc.org.

This weekend’s family events include tomorrow evening’s “Corn Hole/Bag-O Night” and Sunday afternoon’s board game tournament. Friday’s fun is a bean-bag-toss game, running from 6 to 9 p.m., and Sunday’s tourney goes from 2 to 4 p.m. Those interested in competing Sunday are asked to bring their favorite games.

SYS has also scheduled a “Parents Night Out” on November 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. An evening of games, crafts, snacks and a movie is set for kids ages 4-to-12 while their parents get a jump on the holidays.

Squash Tourney Brings Out Top Players at SYS

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By Benito Vila

With sticky, hot and humid weather becoming the norm as August winds down, it would seem natural to expect to find a respite somewhere indoors. Those heading to the cool climes of Southampton Youth Services on Major Path last weekend and again this week were treated two high-level US Squash-sanctioned tournaments heating up the courts in the Elmaleh-Stanton Squash Center.

The inaugural US Squash Under-25 Hamptons Doubles Championship started Monday under the watchful eye of Canadian Gary Waite, a long-time international doubles champion. Ten teams came out for the tournament, players coming mostly from the college ranks along with a few regional squash club pros.

In the men’s final yesterday afternoon were two college players from Philadelphia, Trevor McGuiness (Penn) and Todd Ruth (Yale) matched up against two young pros, Greg McArthur and Graham Bassett, who teach in Greenwich (CT). The Bassett/McArthur pairing had prevailed over Ruth and another partner in a tournament at the Field Club in Greenwich in May.

Ruth’s partner here, McGuiness, is a high school friend and former doubles partner, who has continued to hone his game and is currently the reigning national doubles champion (along with his playing partner, Whitten Morris). The Ruth/McGuiness pairing proved to be more than Bassett/McArthur could handle, the Philadelphia boys taking the best-of-five championship in four games, 15-9, 17-18, 15-12 and 15-7.


As Good As it Gets


On hand for the yesterday’s finals was Victor Elmaleh, a Bridgehampton resident and a former United States National Doubles Champion (1968). Still playing at 91, Elmaleh helped develop the facility at SYS and has encouraged the growth of the sport both locally and nationally.

In watching the action in the final, Elmaleh complemented the play of both teams and whispered, “This is as good as it gets,” while providing insight into what was happening on the court. He and fellow squash enthusiasts and facility sponsors Jim Stanton and Wally Glennon greeted the teams as they came off the court, thanking them for their play and for bringing their level of competition to Southampton.


Plans for Next August


SYS Squash Director, Sayed Selim, served as tournament director for the third annual Sotheby’s Realty Hamptons Squash Junior Open last weekend. Over sixty players, ages 11 to 19, took part, participating in 94 matches (please see a related story on page 1).

Selim was delighted by the level of play in the Juniors Open, and is seeing the sport grow on the youth level locally. “In the last ten months that I’ve been here, there have been more and more kids coming out for lessons, clinics and camps. We are starting to get interest from the schools and I think that’s going to bring even more kids in.”

Looking ahead to next August, Selim plans to offer the two tournaments again and hopes to add in a tournament or exhibition series featuring international players from Eygpt and Europe as well as players from the professional women’s circuit.

Juniors Open Results


The boys’ Under-19 division saw Christopher Wilkinson, of New York and Southampton, take first, with Freddy Hernandez, of the Bronx, finishing as the runner-up. William Douglass, of Brooklyn and East Hampton, earned third, and Robert Zindman, of Belle Mead, NJ, fourth.

The girls’ U-19 crown went to Camille Lanier of Washington, DC with Claire Blumenthal of Greenwich, CT, coming in second. Katherine Elliott-Moskwa, of Princeton, NJ, took third, with fourth going to Alisha Maity, of Bryn Mawr, PA.

Andrew Caidenhead, of the Bronx, came away with the boys’ U-15 title with Steve Cacouris, of Alpine, NJ, notching second. Darius Campbell, of Fordham Station, NY, was third, with Felipe Pantle, of the Bronx, fourth.

Emily Jones, of Rye, NY and Quogue, took the girls’ U-15 draw with Caroline Monrad, of Newton, MA, finishing as the runner-up. Lauren Johnston, of Swarthmore, PA, was third with Emily’s sister, Bella Jones, walking away with fourth.

Caroline’s brother, Stephen Monrad, earned the boys’ U-13 title over Alex Partricolo, of Southampton. Cameron Munn, of New York and Southampton outlasted Esmeralda Mejia, of the Bronx, in the girls’ U11 final.

SYS Hosts Squash Tourney

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Southampton Youth Services is hosting two squash tournaments this week at its recreational facility on Majors Path. The first, the Hamptons Junior Open, sponsored by Sotheby’s International Realty, starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday.

A US Squash-sanctioned tournament, the Junior Open will organize its matches into a boys’ draw and a girls’ draw, and stage each draw in five age categories–Under 19, U-17, U-15, U-13 and U-11. SYS marketing director Sharon Wood expects “several US national champions to be competing in their respective age groupings along with 12 extraordinary players from some of the most successful inner-city squash-based youth mentoring programs.”

The second tournament is a new offering–the inaugural US Squash Under-25 Hamptons Doubles Championship. It starts Monday and runs through Wednesday. As with the Junior Open, the outcomes of this US Squash-sanctioned tournament will influence participant’s national rankings. There will be both a men’s and a women’s draw.

Wood foresees that among the Under-25 players “will be top US and Canadian college athletes, recent graduates and teaching professionals. Doubles at this level is extremely fast and are exhilarating to watch. SYS is really excited to have been chosen to host this event, which we hope will become an annual highlight of the squash year.”

The Under-25 Doubles Championship has been underwritten by Victor Elmaleh, a Bridgehampton resident and a former United States National Doubles Champion (1968) and has been organized by Canadian Gary Waite, a long-time international doubles champion.

Squash at SYS: Two Tourneys Next Week

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Southampton Youth Services is hosting two squash tournaments next week at its recreational facility on Majors Path. The first, the Hamptons Junior Open, sponsored by Sotheby’s International Realty, starts next Friday, August 14 and runs through that Sunday. A US Squash-sanctioned tournament, the Junior Open will organize its matches into a boys’ draw and a girls’ draw, and stage each draw in five age categories–Under 19, U-17, U-15, U-13 and U-11.

SYS marketing director Sharon Wood expects “several US national champions to be competing in their respective age groupings along with 12 extraordinary players from some of the most successful inner-city squash-based youth mentoring programs.”

The second tournament is a new offering–the inaugural US Squash Under-25 Hamptons Doubles Championship–starting Monday, August 17 and running through Wednesday, August 19. As is the case with the Junior Open, the outcomes of this US Squash-sanctioned tournament will influence participant’s national rankings. There will also be both a men’s and a women’s draw. 

Wood foresees that among the players “will be top US and Canadian college athletes, recent graduates and teaching professionals. Doubles at this level is extremely fast and are exhilarating to watch. SYS is really excited to have been chosen to host this event, which we hope will become an annual highlight of the squash year.”

The Under-25 Doubles Championship has been underwritten by Victor Elmaleh, a Bridgehampton resident and a former United States National Doubles Champion (1968) and has been organized by Canadian Gary Waite, a long-time international doubles champion.

August Sports Camps for Kids

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School is still weeks off and not every young student has something to do. For those without any plans, there are several local youth camps this month to keep kids playing and active.

Starting Monday, All-Pro Sports Academy is holding its annual week-long baseball and softball camp in Mashashimuet Park. The Bellport-based coaches are providing a 9 a.m.-to-noon softball program for players ages 7 to 15 while the baseball program has two sessions: one for players ages five and six from 9 a.m. to noon and one for players ages 7 to 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information is available at allprosportsacademy.com

There is a girls’ basketball camp next week at Pierson High School, for girls entering grades two through seven. Pierson JV girls’ basketball Coach Kevin Barron has organized the program, scheduling the sessions from 2 to 5 p.m from Monday to Friday. Current and former Pierson girls’ basketball players will be on hand, helping out the future Lady Whalers and their summer visitors. There is a $150 fee for each player with the proceeds going to the Pierson girls’ basketball program. Applications are available in the athletic office and the main office at Pierson.


SYS Camps

Meanwhile Southampton Youth Services on Majors Path continues its summer camp program this month. Ongoing until August 21 are the Future Stars Sports Camp for six-to-fourteen-year olds, Future Stars Little Stars Camp for three-and-a-half-to-five-year olds and a Squash Camp.

Island Gymnastics is coming to SYS the weeks of August 24 and August 31, with a program for gymnasts ages five and up. Dribbl Basketball Camp and the Colonial Sports Group Soccer Camp also have programs coming in the week of August 24. The Dribble camp has full-day and half-day sessions for players in kindergarten through fifth grade; the Colonial camp is intended for players ages six to fourteen.


There is also a karate camp being offered the week of August 24 for ages four and up. For more information on any of these camps contact Joy Pariz at 287-1511.

Soirees and Camps at SYS

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Southampton Youth Services, which operates a recreational center on Majors Path, is hosting its annual “Summer Soiree” this Saturday from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at Wainscott Studios.

Soiree chair Heather Saskas and her hard-working volunteer committee have planned an “evening of dinner, dancing and auctions,” inviting those that come “to mingle with stars of old from the silver screen.”

The soiree honors the ?Peter Jay Sharp Foundation which supported the development of the SYS facility. All of the proceeds from the evening benefit Southampton Youth Services. Tickets start at $275 per person.

Wainscott Studios are located at 75 Industrial Road in Wainscott, just south of the East Hampton Airport.

 

Monday/Thursday Boot Camp 

 

Beginning June 29, SYS offers a Monday and Thursday 7 a.m. fitness boot camp, a fast-paced, outdoor, military-style interval training class that incorporates calisthenics such as push-ups, jumping jacks, sit-ups, running and agility drills. The class runs through August 20 and is $100 for SYS Fitness Members and $150 for SYS Members. This is not a course for beginners or those with high or low blood pressure.

 

Other Summer Camps

 

SYS offers the Future Stars Sports Camp for six-to-fourteen-year olds from June 29 to August 21. Soccer, basketball and baseball specialty weeks are available.

The Future Stars Little Stars Camp for three-and-a-half-to-five-year olds will run from June 15 to August 21.

There is also an on-site Squash Camp going from June 15 to August 28.

Other camps available at SYS include the Ray Reid Soccer School Camp from August 4 to 7, available from 9 a.m. to noon for five-to-thirteen-year olds and the Island Gymnastics Camp for ages five-and-up from August 24 to 28 and August 31 to September 4.

Dribbl Basketball Camp for players in kindergarten through fifth grade has full-day and half-day programs from August 24 to 28. That same week, the Colonial Sports Group Soccer Camp provides instruction for ages six-to-fourteen from 9 to 11 a.m. and there is a Karate Camp for ages four-and-up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tourneys at SYS

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This weekend Southampton Youth Services is hosting a series of sporting events for all ages in its facility on Majors Path. On Friday, SYS is holding its seventh annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament for boys and girls in grades six through twelve. Registration closes at 7:30 p.m. sharp and competition runs through 11 p.m. There are separate middle school and high school brackets. Registration is $40 per team.

Starting on Friday and continuing into Saturday is an adult squash tournament. Registration is $45 per person. Also on Saturday is a karate open house from 9 a.m. to noon, complete with a black belt exhibition and a self-defense demonstration.

Basketball takes over the center rink Saturday night as the finalists of the seventh and eighth grade PAL league meet at 7:30 p.m. to crown a league champion. For more information on these events call SYS at 287-1511.