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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Camp takes strides to spark active kids

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Andrew Powell, Staff

Participants in the YMCA Sports Camp run around the Sikeston High School track alongside camp coordinator Eric Chappell.

SIKESTON -- The YMCA of Southeast Missouri wrapped up its third annual summer Sports Camp Friday afternoon at the Sikeston High School tennis courts.

The week long event gave the kids from kindergarten to fifth grade the opportunity to learn and compete in a variety of sports, with each day representing a new activity.

Originating in 2006, YMCA program director Chris Hodgkiss mentioned the idea for a sports camp is one that really took off well from the beginning.

"The sports camp is one of our camps that has been very successful in the past," said Hodgkiss. "I think the kids who've done it before have really enjoyed it and look forward to doing it again each year.

"And what I think the kids like most about the sports camp is that it gives them a chance to not only compete in a different sport each day but it also introduces them to some new sports that they may not have played before."

The five sports featured in this years camp included basketball, tennis, soccer, track and field and bowling. Sikeston head coach Derrick Long helped kick things off Monday with soccer as the sport of the day.

"It was a great way to start the week," Camp coordinators Eric Chappell and Josh Greer agreed. "Derrick has had a lot of experience hosting camps and does an excellent job getting the kids excited to play soccer. It was probably one of their favorites of the week."

Action continued with basketball on Tuesday and bowling on Wednesday, while track and field was held Thursday with tennis rounding out the week on Friday.

But while the theme of the camp may revolve around learning different sports, Chappell said the main goal is to just get out there and have fun.

"Mainly, we just want the kids to come out, have fun and let them try a sport that they may not have tried before," said Chappell. "A lot of kids out there really don't go bowling or pay much attention to track or tennis.

"So we just tried to show them that there are many other sports out there that they can have fun in, outside of the more mainstream ones."

Greer also added that sparking an interest in different sports at an early age will also help kids stay active and live healthier lives.

"These days a lot of kids are staying home and not really getting out and getting active," said Greer. "Instead of playing sports they're inside playing video games or watching TV, so basically we want to help show them that there are other ways to have fun other than being inside."

This Sports Camp marked the final summer program for the YMCA but for information on future programs and events you can contact the YMCA at 472-9622.