Annual sports academy teaches local children about lifetime sports and skills | Local News

Inside Young High School on Monday morning, two dozen children learned how to throw a Frisbee. Just down the hill more youngsters were being taught how to hit and hit a tennis ball.

Earlier in the day, another group of children were being taught how to chop karate. Over the coming days, more than 100 children will be taught the basics of bowling, firing a bow and canoeing on Carthage’s Kellogg Lake.

For the 26th time, the Department of Kinesiology at Missouri Southern State University sponsored the Children’s Lifetime Sports Academy, an athletic camp for children ages 7-12.

But according to camp coordinator Stephanee Schiding, this is not your typical summer sports camp.

“There’s a lot of sports camps out there that are sports-specific, like football camp, basketball camp, baseball camp — and those are fantastic, but the reason our (camp) is designed is because we wanted a camp that kids could come to.” You and learn lifelong athletic skills.”

Lifelong sports are activities that can be enjoyed from childhood through adulthood. Such activities range from biking and playing nine-hole golf to jogging around the neighborhood, backpacking at a state park, or playing badminton in the backyard. Children also learn the types of life skills they will need as they grow up—namely, compassion, self-discipline, and teamwork.

“Those are the things they can do forever,” said Schiding, regardless of occupation, location, or age.

During the four-day Children’s Lifetime Sports Academy, “campers” take part in a range of activities – pickleball, fishing and fly-fishing, swimming, archery, bowling, 9 Square in the Air, golfing and, new this year, a station for making fly/fish lures.

“These are things that you can do for a lifetime,” said Schiding. “Well, I’m not saying you can’t play basketball or soccer for a lifetime, but here we’re focusing on lifelong sports so they can get a taste of a lot of different activities.”

That’s important, she said, “because if a kid doesn’t like one thing, they might like something else.”

The participants seemed to be enjoying themselves as they sailed flying discs and learned precise karate kicks. Like 7-year-old Alice Fletcher-Fierro celebrating with her buddies when her disc hit the center circle of a disc. Nearby, Liam Faruk, also 7, knocked over plastic bowling pins with a perfectly thrown disc. and during the earlier karate session, Nolan Mattes, 7, enjoyed the intricacies of the martial arts and the discipline it teaches.

According to Schiding, the academy is probably more important than ever.

“We live in a technological world,” she said. “We also live in a scary world where people don’t send their kids outside alone as often as necessary, so this is a week where kids don’t depend on technology. From start to finish they are active and having fun and connecting with others (kids) and with other role models from the school.”

However, the campers weren’t the only people learning skills on Monday morning. So did the dozens of Southern kinesiology students who served as camp counselors. The camp is a requirement for the university’s physical education teachers, Schiding said, “and it gives them experience working with younger children.”

Senior Spyncer Chambers said the Children’s Lifetime Sports Academy is “just a great opportunity to give back to the kids and the community.”

He is learning to be a physical therapist and he said working with the smaller children is key to that future as, as a professional, he could handle children of that age very well.

“Hopefully we don’t have any injuries out here today and I don’t have to use any of my skills,” he said.

Luckily he didn’t have to, although several kids tripped and fell during the Flying Disc session, prompting Kaitlyn Collins to grab some ice cream cones as they recovered.

Southern senior Levi Duley, a high school football player and now an assistant coach at Carl Junction, paced the row of disc-throwing kids, bending down to speak to several, encouraging others and helping some with the catching and throwing.

“I love it,” he said. This was his first participation in the academy. He plans to become a high school level strength and conditioning coach. However, if that doesn’t work out, he said he would definitely like to work with children between the ages of 7 and 12.

This week’s sports camp “just gives them a chance to do some really cool things that they might not be able to do,” Duley said, “and it gets them out of the house and into nature.”

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