‘Fly Right’ program ready for summer

Published 7:56 pm Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Straighten Up and Fly Right program is gearing up for a summer full of offerings for local young people, its president Tyron Riddick says.

“We are designed to give youth something to do,” Riddick said.

The nonprofit youth organization certainly is accomplishing that goal. It focuses on doing so through sports, performing arts, social skills and health and education.

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The organization has football teams that play in weight-restricted and un-restricted classes, soccer and baseball programs, a dance group, a mentoring program and more. It takes local kids on trips, including one recently that took about 60 kids to Washington Redskins tryouts, where they met quarterback Robert Griffin III, as well as other players, former players and cheerleaders.

After its partnership with the NFL as well as a baseball program with the MLB, “We’re looking for the NBA to be next,” Riddick said.

The goal in the baseball program is to have 200 participants, Riddick said.

“We want to create a Division I program, but on a Little League scale,” he said. Transportation is only $20 per month per household.

“Once you’re in the program, transportation is no longer a problem,” Riddick said.

The football and cheerleading programs operate out of Peanut Park and Bennett’s Creek Park, so it is convenient for those living in downtown or in North Suffolk. Participation for football players and cheerleaders is $120 per season and includes most of the necessary equipment and uniform.

“We are trying to be a one-stop-shop for the youth,” Riddick said. “We want to get Suffolk’s youth up and moving.”

More importantly, though, the program aims to keep local young people busy with productive activities.

“We are truly the village that’s working together to raise children,” he said. “We get to our destination by propelling youth forward together.”

He also dispelled the misconception that the program is only for certain children.

“We’re not just for African-Americans or just for males,” he said.

The program is looking for volunteer coaches and sponsors, Riddick added.

For more information, email Riddick at tdriddick1990@gmail.com.