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Former NFL Coach Mike Ditka Helps Young Athletes Win Big at the American Youth Football National Championship Games

“Da Coach” extended his support while hosting celebratory events in Central Florida.

Orlando, FL, January 08, 2009 --( During his stay at his award-winning resort, Runaway Beach Club, in Central Florida on Dec. 10, Super Bowl-winning Coach Mike Ditka offered encouragement and support to young athletes competing at the 2008 Under Armour American Youth Football (AYF) National Championship Games.

American Youth Football, Inc., an international youth football organization established to promote the wholesome development of youth through their association with adult leaders in the sport of American football, hosted its annual week-long National Championship Games at Austin Tindall Park beginning Dec.6. This year, the tournament included more than 6,000 young athletes between the ages of 5-16.

Coach Ditka, former NFL Coach of the 1985 Super Bowl champs the Chicago Bears, spent the afternoon interacting with this year’s participants. Ditka emphasized the importance of teamwork and good sportsmanship in a competitive setting while zealously engaging in activities both on and off the field.

“It’s important to remind these young athletes that it’s not always about winning. It’s about remaining focused on your goals and doing your best to achieve them,” said Ditka.

Later that evening, “Da Coach” personally hosted two additional events celebrating the year’s successes at his award-winning Runaway Beach Club Resort. Ditka welcomed AYF coaches and players to his family-friendly resort for a casual barbeque, giving them the opportunity to set aside their competitive edge and celebrate their achievements together in good fun.

Mike Ditka’s Runaway Beach Club Resort is the recipient of Orbitz’s “Best in Family Stay 2008” Award for the Walt Disney World area. It is located in the heart of the Orlando attractions area and features state-of-the-art amenities for both adults and children alike.

After the barbeque, Ditka also hosted the “AYF Hall of Fame Awards” ceremony. As an NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer, the coach realizes the importance of giving credit where credit is due. This special evening honored individuals who have donated more than 20 years of their time to coaching youth football across the nation.

During the ceremony, Joe Galat, President of AYF and former NFL coach, joined Coach Ditka to address the coaches who have consistently extended a helping hand to the organization and presented awards to this year’s Hall of Fame recipients.

About Runaway Beach Club
Runaway Beach Club Resort is the quintessential example of a family-friendly atmosphere combined with a unique Orlando vacation experience. Featuring spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom villas and situated on 16 acres of enchanting tropical landscaping, Mike Ditka’s Runaway Beach Club has something for everyone. Two Florida-themed pools present the perfect compliment to your comfort and relaxation. The South Beach themed pool is adult oriented with a connecting sundeck to enjoy the Florida sun. The Key West themed pool is more flamboyant and colorful, combining zero depth entry safety with kid friendly water features to create a pool experience unlike any other for the entire family. Other amenities include wireless broadband Internet access, an indoor basketball court, a 24-hour professional fitness center, and a whirlpool spa. The property also offers complimentary shuttle service to the Walt Disney World theme parks and is managed by international hospitality group, Geneva Hospitality.

For more information on Mike Ditka’s Runaway Beach Club Resort, visit or call 888-512-2200.

About American Youth Football
AYF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and National Youth Partner of the National Football League. AYF provides support services, scholarships, grants, “Giving Back” programs and tournaments to over 500,000 youth members. Representing more than 1,800 local associations with participants in more than 2,000 cities, AYF is the only youth football program with members in all 50 states and several countries worldwide. AYF is committed to Giving Back and since its inception in 1996, has successfully donated over $14 million dollars in grants and athletic products to communities that support youth football. AYF offers all-inclusive football and cheer divisions to every team and league, enabling every child a place and an opportunity to play.

For more information visit

**Geneva Hospitality is the management company for or Mike Ditka Resorts Runaway Beach Club Resort.

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Geneva Hospitality
Tracy Terry

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