As a first of its kind in the area, Ali Adlah, president of PAL CM Red Devils football, has plans to create an all-girls flag football league. And as if the launch of the league for girls isn’t enough, Adlah will also be starting a Superstar League, which will include free registration for all children with special needs.
“There isn’t anything for them until high school,” said Adlah of his thinking.
East End Athletics Inc. is a not-for-profit sports organization that just started in January 2023. They will provide opportunities for all ages and abilities, including children and athletes with special needs. The Superstar League, which is a free league, was created for athletes with special needs and also gives them an opportunity to play organized sports.
“This will give everyone an opportunity to play flag football close to home and not have to travel up island,” explained Adlah, excited to get started. “This league is meant to open up opportunity for all to play, without breaking the bank.”
Members of the board consist of an occupational therapist, special education teacher, parents of children with special needs, and football enthusiasts. The league also has a kids’ board, which has the same responsibilities as the adult board.
“They have to plan programs for the organization, budget their finances, and make decisions about the future of the organization,” he said of the inclusive nature of the league. “Who better to get ideas for an organization children play in than children themselves?”
Registration is now open and the first spring league will start in March. Currently, Adlah is seeking neighboring town parks and recreations to secure fields on the East End of Long Island to conduct practices, games, and tournaments. Once a field is secured as their home base, they will begin accepting donations to help keep the league affordable.
Additionally, the league reached out to Center Moriches Schools’ athletic director, Jeremy Thode, to possibly help build a mentor program with their girls flag football team.
“We are looking for investors and sponsors to help us build a state-of-the-art sports complex for programs such as ours,” Adlah added. “But without an indoor facility and/or a home base field, it’s proving difficult to row these leagues. Donations are greatly appreciated in hopes of building our very own state-of-the-art sports complex to house our flag football league and other sports to come.”
Their philosophy is giving opportunities to play instead of focusing on just winning. Within the league, players don’t have to try out; they just have to register. He hopes the new venture will get kids out playing sports, building peer relationships and fostering a love of sports.
“But most of all,” he said, “is to get them to be more active and part of organized sports, rather than sitting watching social media and in front of a screen.”
For more information or to join, follow the league on Facebook and Instagram. Also, a website is on the way. For donations: Venmo @east-end-athletics. If anyone has access to a field to hold practices, games, and tournaments, please contact Ali Adlah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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