Wylam youth football makes due without lights

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Wylam Youth Football Association has been practicing at Wylam Park for seven years. For the last two, they have done so without any lights.

“With no lights out here, it’s kind of hard to keep track of everybody,” said Rageel-Aswad Malik, the vice president of the Wylam Youth Football Association. “We don’t leave until the last child is gone.”

The lights aren’t the only issue for the program.

“We’ve been promised, ever since the beginning, bleachers, lights, a new parking facility, trying to even get our own football field out here, but no one has come to our rescue yet,” Malik said.

Vincent Pressley is the president of the Wylam Youth Football Association. He says safety is the biggest concern with no lights at the park.

“We’d be more aware about what’s going on out here,” Pressley said. “Some kid might run off or something, we can see them. We can catch it earlier than in the dark when we cannot see them.”

Safety for the community is another concern.

“Our playground over there, it’s not safe. It’s out of date,” Pressley said. “Our basketball court, there’s no lights on it. Anything can happen over there.”

WIAT 42 News contacted the Birmingham Parks and Rec office to ask about the lights in Wylam Park. They told us there is paperwork reporting the issue, but no repairs can be made until the issue is brought before the Wylam Neighborhood Association which meets on the first Tuesday of every month.

The coaches are hopeful progress can be made at that meeting.

“We just need that help and support from the neighborhood and the Birmingham association,” Malik said. “We are very safety oriented and we just try to come out here and have fun and have a place for the kids to come out here and have a good time.”

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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