Church offers sports opportunities

This month, local boys and girls are invited to join the Upward

Well, the days are getting shorter, school has started, and
leaves are changing color and falling off their trees. These signs
all point to the conclusion that it must be … football
season.
Well, the days are getting shorter, school has started, and leaves are changing color and falling off their trees. These signs all point to the conclusion that it must be … football season.

For the fourth consecutive year, Gilroy’s South Valley Community Church is inviting students in grades one through six living in South County to participate in a local Upward Sports program. Boys and girls can participate in the flag football and cheerleading program.

There will be practice sessions held each week beginning Sept. 6 at El Roble Elementary School in Gilroy. Games are played each Saturday at El Roble Park and begin Sept. 25. The cost to participate is $95, which includes jerseys and flags for the football players and uniforms and pompoms for cheerleaders.

All participants receive a gift at the awards ceremony, usually held on a Sunday evening, marking the season’s end. Volunteers, coaches and referees are also recognized at the awards night, and an entertaining speaker addresses all in attendance.

As of now, 94 boys and girls have registered to play football, and 36 girls have signed up for cheerleading. But there is room for more participants in both programs. Limited scholarship assistance is available, as well installment payment plans.

Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian sports program for children and was created to provide the best sports experience possible for every participant. Each year about 1,000,000 people around the world play, coach, referee or volunteer in some capacity at leagues hosted by more than 2,600 churches.

Anyone of any faith or no religion at all can participate in Upward Sports. The program strives to “bring out the winner in every child, regardless of the game’s score.”

Unlike the very competitive leagues that emphasize “winning at any cost,” Upward Sports emphasizes healthy competition, sportsmanship, skills-building and fun. The program equips participants with sport fundamentals and has some unique aspects:

– Each child is evaluated before the team selection process to create balanced teams.

– It practices a unique substitution system that guarantees equal playing time.

– It teaches athletic skills and values for success on and off the playing field.

– Family schedules are respected through only a single one-hour practice and a one-hour game each week.

– Supportive coaches and a positive environment work together to bring out the “winner in every child.”

There are several negative points concerning many sports programs that Upward Sports has taken into account in designing this program:

– The top reasons children quit playing organized sports are because they are not having fun, coaches play favorites, too much emphasis is placed on competition and they are frustrated from not getting to play regularly.

– In addition, studies have shown that many young athletes believe cheating and arguing with officials are acceptable behavior.

For those who prefer basketball, Upward Basketball and Cheerleading will begin taking sign-ups in November with weekly practices at Wheeler Auditorium beginning in January. Games will be held at Brownell Middle School and run through the beginning of March.

For more information or to register, go to www.UpwardSports Gilroy.com or call (408) 848-2363 ext. 151 and leave a message. An official will call you back shortly.

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