DARIEN—Over the past several years, the Darien Athletic Foundation has made a name for itself in the community as an organization intended to further athletics in the community.
Up to this point, the greatest effort and achievement of the DAF is its spearheading of the lights campaign at Darien High School.
As fall sports started in 2017, they did so with lights over the turf in the stadium, and the ability for the athletes to experience home night games.
Since then, a new venture has become the calling card for the DAF—live streaming.
With an interest in jumping into that venture, the DAF reached out to Damian Andrew, a sports media professional with over 20 years of experience in local news, most recently at News 12.
“I’ve been in the sports broadcasting business for more than 20 years, and this was an opportunity to do something that’s new, exciting, cutting-edge,” Andrew said. “People can get our streams all over the world, and that’s pretty cool.”
Almost two months in, the DAF has broadcasted over 20 high school games and will look to expand to youth events as well in the future.
Because the project is to new, there’s growing pains and bumps along the way, but in a finite period of time, the DAF has started to draw significant interest from people around the community in terms of being a part of the process.
Specifically, Andrew hopes to be able to get young-adults, mostly high-schoolers, to commit time and energy towards the efforts as a learning experience.
“We’re starting to generate interest from young adults, youth volunteers, adult volunteers from the community,” Andrew said. “We’re getting people who have a background in a specific sport to help us announce games, we’re getting young adults involved in the production aspect of putting together a live stream, everything from operating the camera to producing a broadcast, to doing promotional graphics, so there’s a lot of different components to it.”
One of the more unique aspects so far, has been the play-by-play and color commentary of the games being broadcast. While, Andrew typically handles the play-by-play duties, volunteers with sport-specific knowledge have come forward to provide a professional opinion.
For example, Darien boys soccer coach Jon Bradley has appeared as an analyst during girls games, and girls lacrosse coach Lisa Lindley has leant her expertise during field hockey games.
While Andrew lauds the DAF for its unwavering support, the success of the endeavor will rely on the response of the community.
Even though the concept is still in its infancy, Andrew has been pleased with the reaction around the town.
“It’s been a great venture, we’ve got a great response for the community,” Andrew said. “People seem to like this; the broadcasts are for the Darien community, for the grandparents who live outside the area and want to see their grandchild and for the athletes themselves who want to replay it through our YouTube channel or for the parents on a train from New York City that can’t catch a 4:00 game. That’s what this is all about.”
To find out which games will be streamed, follow @DarienAF on Twitter, or visit the DAF YouTube page.