Through tragedy comes triumph in athletic non-profit that teaches kids to pay it forward

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Watching your child play sports can be a joy, but for one local father who lost his son, he’s now finding joy in giving other parents that opportunity.

“You know, that was him, that was my boy,” Scott McIntyre reflected.

A picture shows a smile frozen in time. It’s the same one that lit up his father’s life for six years.

“Tyler was awesome,” McIntyre said. “I mean, that’s the word I use all the time. He was awesome.”

A car accident took Tyler’s life in 2012. It changed his father’s life forever.

“You go through a tragedy like that, and you just can’t do life the same,” McIntyre said. “And I wanted to do something different. I wanted to give back. I wanted to do something on a regular basis in my life that had meaning and purpose.”

McIntyre has been a coach for years, so that meant giving all local kids an outlet to play competitive sports as well as reap the benefits they offer.

“You get confidence out of playing sports,” he said. “You get a sense of belonging out of playing sports, and we just don’t want any kids left behind.”

Especially due to financial means, so McIntyre recently launched a non-profit organization called Athletic Haven. The kids participating in its programs will also learn a valuable life lesson.

“We’re gonna have our players play completely for free,” McIntyre said. “They’re not gonna have to pay at all, but what they are gonna have to do is get themselves a sponsor. Whether, it’s mom, dad, aunt, uncle, whomever, and they’re gonna have to raise some money for a local charity. So since we’re offering philanthropy, we’re going to teach them the benefits of also giving back and paying it forward.”

The benefits for McIntyre have already been felt, and the light in Tyler’s corner is shining brighter than ever.

“I want to make him proud,” McIntyre said. “I could have just done a foundation or a scholarship program in his name. A lot of people do it. It’s very common. I didn’t want it to just be about him or just about us. I wanted to help as many kids as I could because that’s what he was like.”

McIntyre hopes to launch Athletic Haven travel teams at the beginning of 2017, and there are some kickoff events in the next few months to generate support.

Athletic Haven is a start-up organization, so McIntyre is looking for help. If you’re interested in being a sponsor, coach, volunteer, or would like more information on how to reap the benefits of the organization, read its website, athletichaven.org.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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