MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Every year, the National Alliance of Youth Sports recognizes and honors one sports parent across the country, who demonstrates exceptional influence over the emotional and physical well-being of children participating in the youth sports program.
This year, Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Washington, an infantry analyst with U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, was recognized as NAYS Youth Sports Parent of the Year. Washington received his award during the kickoff of the 16th annual Youth Sports Congress in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17, 2017.
“In all of my years as a youth sports and fitness director, I have never seen a volunteer more dedicated to the success of kids than Jon,” says Robert Talley, the youth sports and fitness director with the 6th Force Support Squadron. “He will help anyone and contribute as much of his time and energy as needed to get the job done.”
In addition to being an active duty Airman and a full-time single father to two kids, a teenage daughter and pre-teen son, Washington has managed to volunteer well over 180 hours to the MacDill community in 2017 alone.
According to Talley, when Washington isn’t busy coaching football and soccer, he volunteers to help maintain MacDill’s youth fields.
“Even when his children are not actively participating in the youth sports program, Jon continues to contribute his free time,” said Talley. “He leads by example and is determined to mentor and edify today’s youth.”
Washington has been a part of the NAYS for nearly a decade, starting when his children were still in diapers. However, once they were old enough, he began coaching a lot of their sports teams.
“Being out there with my kids and being able to help out the base community with whatever is needed is so rewarding,” said Washington. “It’s been good to contribute and my kids enjoy it.
“I can wake up early on a Saturday, have some coffee, and go out to the fields to paint, coach my kids, and enlist their help during cleanup so they can understand the work that goes into their sports.”
According to Talley, Washington encourages his kids to be involved and give back to the community and to make a difference any way they can.
“Jon has been there not only for each of his children, but for any kid who ever needed to talk,” says Talley. “Many times he has arrived at the Youth Center to pick up his kids, only to stay for several hours, playing games with other youth.”
Winning a prestigious award, such as Youth Sports Parent of the Year, requires commitment and dedication to the success and well being of youth in the community, and Washington has proven himself deserving of this award.
“He has been an excellent role model for kids in the youth sports program and his enthusiasm inspires those around him,” said Talley. “Washington is a great person and an asset to MacDill AFB.”