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The mission of Indy Youth Sports is to create a positive and safer environment for youth in Marion County, Indianapolis to enjoy the youth experience, understand the importance of education and healthy lifestyles, and instill core values that will guide them in life via athletics.


Indy Youth Sports Football League (IYS) was formed in 2010 to create a positive and safer environment for kids to enjoy the youth experience, understand the importance of education and impart solid core values via athletics. The league is collaboration between the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), Indy Parks, Tabernacle Recreation League (TAB), Police Athletic League (PAL), Coach Alonzo Watford Inner City Football League (CAW), and the Municipal Gardens DADS Club.


In urban communities around the world, more and more youth between the ages of 5 - 18 years of age are missing out on the youth experience via sports, and communities are paying a dire price for this lack of programming. Studies have shown that organized sports programs can contribute to reducing youth crime by giving young people a positive identity, feelings of empowerment, and by helping youth acquire leadership, teamwork and self-governance skills under adult supervision.

Over 12,000 kids have participated in Indy Youth Sports since its formation and hundreds of parents, coaches and community leaders have volunteered to help run IYS leagues. 


We want our city's youth to be happy, healthy, successful and fulfilled. And we do everything in our power to provide the experiences that will help them on their journey. Giving your child the opportunity to play sports can provide a wealth of benefits and lessons that will positively influence their life for years to come, according to research by the Aspen Institute’s Project Play. The physical benefits of playing sports are obvious, but sports can also have a great impact on developing children’s minds and social skills.

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  • 80% of all Black births in Indiana are to single mothers.

  • Nearly 70% of all Black Males are either separated, divorced or have never been married.

  • 72% of Black children are considered low-Income.

  • Approximately 83% of Indiana's Black fourth graders score below reading proficiently

  • There is strong evidence that links third grade reading proficiency to on-time high school completion rates.

  • Indiana ranks as one of the 10 worst states in terms of Black male four-year high school graduation rates.

  • Black men between the ages of 20 and 34 who dropout of high school are more likely to be currently behind bars (37%) than to be currently employed (26%).


  • To promote and oversee amateur athletic sports and athletics while evaluating the standards and competitive levels of amateur athletics.

  • Foster and encourage community pride through local amateur athletics.

  • Recruit and hire coaches that understand and embrace their roles as coaches in an urban setting.

  • Develop coaches who can serve as positive role models for youth and parents in our communities.

  • Promote and maintain physical exercise, physical fitness, and moral well-being of Indianapolis urban youth.


Emil Ekiyor Indy Youth Sports President


Emil Ekiyor was born in Lagos, Nigeria and belongs to the historical and rich Ijaw tribe in Patani in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Emil left his family in Nigeria at the age of fifteen to pursue educational opportunities in the United States (US). Emil played football and basketball upon arrival to the US. Athletics played a role in his ability to adapt and understand the new culture. Through experiences as a collegiate football player, team captain, six years of playing experience in the National Football League (NFL), and ten years coaching experience, Emil developed leadership and team building skills. Post NFL, the exposure to high expectations, teamwork, professionalism and extreme scrutiny as an athlete has assisted Emil in making a natural transition to the for profit and non-profit world where he gained over ten years of experience as a business owner, executive and administrator.

Emil currently serves in leadership positions as Co-Owner of, Vice President of the Indianapolis Chapter of Indiana Black Expo, President of Indy Youth Sports, Co-Chair Voices for School Choice and Indianapolis Prayer Breakfast Leadership Team. Within the Indianapolis community, Emil has worked to identify key issues, develop a coalition of stakeholders to generate solutions and create a team of qualified individuals and organizations to execute the plan to solve societal issues.


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