AYF Athletes of the Month
Austin Youth Fitness Athlete of the Month is a showcase of the talented young men and women in our community. The power and spirit of our youth is limitless, and AYF thinks it's important to let other young athletes know what their peers are doing in the fitness community. Congratulations to the following AYF Athletes of the Month!
December Athlete of the Month
Branson Pfiester is currently in 4th grade at Acton Academy and participates in AYF's Biking Groups as well as Cycle the City Camps. Branson was nominated by his coaches because he is always so excited to ride every time and is genuinely so nice to coaches and other riders. "He's solid all around!" coach Ruth says. Some of Branson's fitness accomplishments include a 14 mile mountain bike ride this past summer in Colorado. Branson is always up for a neighborhood ride and races with friends.
Aside from biking, Branson also participates in basketball and soccer. Branson is also involved with church small groups as well.
Branson's favorite thing about AYF is being able to calm down after school and release energy. He also says the coaches are fun and he loves learning new things about biking. Branson's favorite thing about school is seeing his friends in person. When he grows up, Branson wants to be a technical engineer or something to do with cars.
Congratulations to Branson for being AYF's December Athlete of the Month!
November Athlete of the Month
Elena Wang is currently in 1st grade at Hill Elementary and participates in AYF's Beginner Biking Group. Elena was nominated by her coaches because she's been working really hard on her biking skills and comes to biking club with a great attitude! Elena loves to ride her bike with friends and family and will even unwind after a day of school with a bike ride!
Aside from biking, Elena plays tennis, basketball, and swims in the summer. Elena also had a great time skiing for the first time last winter in Canada. Elena is a talented and dedicated piano player who is enthusiastic about music of all genres. Since she was 3, Elena has enjoyed watching the Nutcracker ballet live every Christmas. She was completed fascinated by the musical Hamilton and is looking forward to seeing it live once travel is safe again. Also when it's safe to travel again, Elena plans to visit her grandparents in Italy and in Canada. She is also looking forward to travel through Asia to visit Taiwan (where her dad is from).
Elena's favorite thing about AYF is doing laps with her biking club. Elena's favorite thing about school is solving word problems during small group work. When she grows up, she would like to be a vet.
Congratulations to Elena for being AYF's November Athlete of the Month!
October Athlete of the Month
William Duckworth is currently in the 4th grade and participates in AYF's Biking Club. William was nominated by his coaches because, "William is a strong athlete and a skilled cyclist, and a great example and leader to his AYF teammates. He is also friendly and fun, has a kind word or a smile for everyone, and is just great to be around. Speaking on behalf of the other coaches that lead his AYF group, we LOVE biking with William!"
Aside from AYF, William loves playing flag football and basketball at WAYA, in the front yard, or anywhere someone will give him a ball!
William's favorite thing about AYF is being able to do athletic activities with friends, and he says the coaches are really nice! William's favorite thing about school is recess (pre-covid recess), and William wants to be a professional athlete or comedian when he grows up.
Congratulations to William for being AYF's October Athlete of the Month!
September Athlete of the Month
Eva Cragnolino is going into the 7th grade and was a junior coach for six weeks of our August Back to School Camps! Eva was nominated by her coaches because Eva is such a positive force! As a junior coach, Eva immediately had a natural ability to lead. She was a wonderful influence and mentor to the younger athletes. Coach Alli says, "She is just a joy to be around, and I feel lucky to have been able to get to know her and "Cycle the City" with her this summer! YAY Eva!" Eva currently runs an eight minute mile and runs with Gilbert's Gazelles.
Aside from being a junior Cycle the City Coach, Eva loves to bake, as shown here. She also adores all dogs!
Eva's favorite thing about AYF is biking! Eva's favorite thing about school is math class. When she grows up, Eva wants to be a lawyer or politician.
Congratulations to Eva for being AYF's September Athlete of the Month!
August Athlete of the Month
Lucas Gourley is Austin Youth Fitness August Athlete of the Month. Lucas is a Casis Cougar, has participated in AYF camps, and needs your thoughts and powers of prayer. Lucas is only 6 years old and is battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
You can read more about Lucas and how to support him here: www.lucasbear.org/
July Athlete of the Month
Jack Hollmig is going into the 3rd grade and participates in AYF's Running Club @ Casis as well as participated in AYF's Cycle the City Camp. During the 2nd session of virtual running and biking clubs, Jack came to every online offering and was always willing to share with the group. Jack has a great attitude and is always ready to work hard. Jack enjoys riding his bike while his parents are jogging.
Aside from running and biking, Jack plays baseball, basketball, and soccer. He's also hoping to play flag football this coming school year. Jack loves reading and his current favorite book is Minecraft the Island.
Jack's favorite thing about AYF's is getting to meet new kids! Jack's favorite thing about school is recess, PE (awesome!!), and watching BrainPop. When he grows up, Jack wants to be in the Coast Guard.
Congratulations to Jack for being AYF's July Athlete of the Month!
June Athlete of the Month
West and Wynne participate in AYF's newest Running Club @ Cowan Elementary School. West and Wynne were nominated by their coaches because West and Wynne were both model runners during running club! West was always encouraging others and giving great ideas on games and activities. Wynne just kept moving with a huge smile and never complained! Wynne helped by reminding others to pick up their jackets and water bottles. Coach Edwards at Davis says this: "I am grateful for their family to push for AYF to come to our school! It is wonderful seeing students grow through our first session! One student started out not running much the first lesson, but after encouraging him to coach others he started to run more. This would not have happened without West and his Family!" Both West and Wynne have done several Iron Kid Races. Also West has logged 12 marathons since kindergarten as part of Marathon Kids, and Wynne has logged 3 marathons. You can regularly find these two running or biking with their parents, and were excited to recently log 7 miles on their bikes!
Aside from running club, both West and Wynne play soccer, take Kung Fu and swim lessons, and practice American Ninja Warrior. They are also taking Chinese and piano lessons and love dessert!
Their favorite thing about AYF's running club is getting to run with so many other kids! When asked about their favorite thing about school, they both said PE and recess! As of recently, they like Brainpop Jr. lessons and reading. When they grow up, West would like to be a professional runner or Zoologist, and Wynne has lots of ambitions, but as of lately she says either vet, firefighter, doctor, or pastry chef.
Congratulations to West and Wynne for being AYF's June Athletes of the Month! You can check out this Marathon Kids article they were also featured in here!
May Athlete of the Month
Akhilesh participates in AYF's Running Club @ NYOS and joined AYF's Virtual 2nd Session. Akhilesh was nominated by his coaches because he attended every Zoom class we offered (even on his birthday), actively participated, and was always willing to suggest an exercise for the group.
Aside from AYF, Akhilesh is involved in Chess Club, South Indian Music Group, and Soccer. Akhilesh is also in New Language Learning Club and learning Sanskrit.
Akhilesh's favorite thing about AYF is playing the fun games during running club!
Akhilesh's favorite thing about school is art and PE class. When he grows up, Akhilesh wants to be an athlete and doctor.
Congratulations to Akhilesh for being AYF's May Athlete of the Month!
April Athlete of the Month
There is no doubt, these last few weeks in our new reality seem so surreal. I remember getting that message the Friday before spring break that classes were canceled for the day thinking, well that's a great safety precaution to ensure campuses can get a deep cleaning in. Little did I know that this was going to lead to school being out for the remainder of the school year.
Fred Rogers once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” So many health care providers across our great nation are those helping those in need and battling Covid-19 on the frontlines.
Austin Youth Fitness would like to take this month to recognize and honor them for the incredible work they do. Many of the families I know who have family members in the medical field worry about them when they go off to work and hope for a healthy return.
Together, making smart choices to stay home, wearing a protective mask out in public, and supporting our healthcare workers can help us come back together stronger and more connected than ever.
We salute you healthcare workers and appreciate all that you are doing during this pandemic!
March Athlete of the Month
Connor Wolf participate in AYF's Running Club @ Casis Elementary as well as the Beginner Biking Club. Connor was nominated by his coaches because he always works hard, checks on others if they fall or need help, is kind to others, and is always a great sport! Connor's first race was the CASA Superhero run this past year, and he's excited to do more events like this!
Aside from AYF, Connor plays T-Ball with Westernhills Little League. Connor also enjoys playing golf and skiing.
Connor's favorite thing about AYF is that the coaches are "really cool and fun"! Connor also enjoys the neighborhood rides in biking club.
Connor says this about his favorite thing about school: "I like doing centers and eating lunch in the cafeteria. I especially love my teacher, Mrs. Sridharan!" When he grows up, Connor wants to be a teacher, dad, and baseball coach!
Congratulations to Connor for being AYF's March Athlete of the Month!
February Athlete of the Month
Sisters Ciena and Emerie Robinson participate in AYF's Running Club @ Baranoff Elementary. Ciena and Emerie were nominated by their coaches because they both work hard and have a great attitude coming to running club. Also from Coach B, "Ciena and Emerie Robinson are enjoying Baranoff Run Club together this session. Big sister Ciena (4th grade) has joined us for several sessions of running and fitness. This go round she is showing little sister Emerie (Kindergarten) how much fun it is to run and exercise with Austin Youth Fitness."
Aside from AYF, Ciena loves to dance and just started playing lacrosse. Emerie loves to dance and enjoys swimming.
Ciena's favorite thing about AYF is being able to play the games at the end of running club, and Emerie's favorite thing is she loves all the running they do and the coaches make it fun!
Ciena's favorite thing about school is art and PE, and when she grows up, she'd love to be a teacher or work with animals. Emerie's favorite thing about school is reading, writing, and math, and she wants to be a swim teacher when she grows up.
Congratulations to Ciena and Emerie for being AYF's February Athletes of the Month!
January Athlete of the Month
Hampton Edgar is in 3rd grade and participates in AYF's Running Club @ Casis Elementary. Hampton has been running with AYF since he was in kindergarten! Hampton was nominated by his coaches because he works hard, has fun, and like his coaches say, "He's always a shining star!" Hampton's running accomplishments include getting 1st place in the 2nd grade run, 2nd place in 1st grade, and tied for 2nd place in kindergarten. Hampton has three seasons of Super Bowl championships for flag football, and he pretty much loves all sports!
Hampton also plays on basketball, lacrosse, tennis, and golf teams. Hampton is active in Sunday School and Youth Programs at Tarrytown United Methodist Church.
Hampton's favorite thing about AYF is being outside and having fun. He also says the coaches are awesome!
Hampton's favorite thing about school is recess and PE. When he grows up, Hampton wants to be a football player, a sports manager, or team owner.
Congratulations to Hampton for being AYF's January Athlete of the Month!