CYAS (Catholic Young Adult Sports) will soon celebrate its fifth year anniversary. Michelle Zapapas, who has been part of CYAS from its beginning, volunteered to give her perspective on how much CYAS has grown and developed over the past 5 years. Michelle's involvement with CYAS had a rocky start when her kickball team in the first CYAS league started to lose players as the season progressed, but that rocky start eventually led to forming great bonds of community and some amazing personal discovery.
Michelle first heard about CYAS from a friend who was recruiting players for her new kickball team. Michelle had just moved back to Denver and was seeking ways to meet new people. After that difficult team experience, Paul Spotts, the founder of CYAS, asked Michelle to join his softball team. She found it was a better experience and soon began to captain various teams. Michelle realized though that she enjoyed playing more when she was not captaining, so she found other ways to be a leader with CYAS.
Michelle went on a CYAS retreat in 2013, which provided her with a different perspective of CYAS outside of the sports. Michelle commented that the retreats have probably had the most impact on her life. She enjoys the friendships that can be made over the course of a retreat. In sports, people come together for mutual enjoyment of a game, but in retreats, those friendships can become deeper and stronger. After her first retreat, Michelle joined the formation committee and volunteered to lead a small group.
She also went on the first mission trip to Nicaragua, which she thoroughly enjoyed and plans to return to in the future. The trip to Nicaragua forced Michelle out of her comfort zone. She is a planner who likes everything organized. During the mission trip, Michelle had to adopt a "go with the flow" mentality. There was no specific goal for the trip except to be with the people the missionaries visited. The trip reinforced the CYAS mission of community, however, and afterwards people continue to organize reunions for the participants.
Looking back over the past 5 years, it is easy to observe the growth of CYAS in terms of size, but Michelle sees growth in other areas. She believes Paul is doing a great job of allowing CYAS to grow and develop naturally. He continues to promote the CYAS mission by building strong relationships through one-on-one interaction as well as group activities. Overall, CYAS provides a wonderful community to bring people together through sports and then spiritually form them through discipleship opportunities.
CYAS is a 501c3 non-profit charity, meaning donations are tax-deductible to the degree allowed by law. Like nearly all charities we have a revenue generating side through our sports leagues (e.g. red cross sells blood from blood drives) and a larger fundraising/charity side that is the heart of why we do the sports (discipleship through Bible studies, retreats, and mission trips). CYAS' revenue from leagues is not nearly enough to cover the expenses for a national outreach ministry. In fact, it isn't even enough after expenses for one full-time staff employee. Donations primarily serve our mission in these main areas:
- To cover players that receive free scholarships for playing in our leagues (10% of participants)
- Expansion of our services in existing locations (including marketing for outreach and the development of formation programs)
- Expansion efforts (including our need for support staff and office space to build a national system - think league operation support, national marketing, donation processing and servicing, accounting, legal support, and expansion related travel and training systems)
- To pay for our insurance cost (about $10,000/year and growing as we grow)
- The ongoing formation, training and community building among our missionaries. They need to be loved in order to continue sharing His love
Full refunds will be provided for any event that we cannot hold due to field scheduling conflicts, lack of interest, or any other cancellation of a league/event on our part.
If a player is injured and will miss the remainder of the league, we suggest they help recruit a permanent sub and ask them to subsidize their fees (please contact us so we are aware of the arrangements & injury, or for help finding possible replacements).
Free agents and donations are non-refundable. Credits may be given to free agents for leagues, if they notify us before registration closes.
Several teams have both spouses playing and bring babies or kids to be watched by substitutes on the bench or by bringing a friend/relative spectator. Many captains will also let the couple share a team fee and just not play at the same time depending on if the team needs a man or woman. Couples may also free agent and join a team in this method, just contact us if you plan on rotating play and want a discounted team fee.
DEFINITELY BRING THE KIDS OUT! ALL OF OUR SOCIALS ARE EVEN AT FAMILY FRIENDLY SPORTS BARS (unless otherwise specified)
We do ask participants to please refrain from consumption during our leagues out of respect for our participants who are opposed to the consumption of alcohol, are underage, and to help us provide a good witness that healthy fun community can exist without the assistance of liquid spirits.
It is CYAS policy that during CYAS events, where alcohol is allowed, only beer and wine may be consumed, no hard liquor or mixed drinks.