Most Viewed Stories
Youth Sports Expo April 20 at Carver Track and Field
Sports are increasingly becoming a part of the typical American childhood, yet almost 70 percent of children drop out of organized sports by age 13, according to the National Alliance for Youth Sports.
A new upcoming event, the Youth Sports Expo, sponsored by Yuma Parks and Recreation, hopes to change this trend by emphasizing fun in competition.
The Youth Sports Expo will be 9 a.m. to noon April 20 at Carver Track and Field, corner of 5th Street and 13th Avenue. It will offer some of the highlights from what used to be the Little People's Olympics, such as track and field events, while expanding the activities to include other sports in order to give youths a greater variety of activities to experience, enjoy and compete in.
“We at Parks and Recreation felt it was important to continue the tradition of having a springtime youth track event, but we wanted to make some changes and do something new. So we have added some fun events for children, kept some of the original track and field events, and expanded the age divisions, so many more children can participate,” says Debbie Wendt, recreation superintendent. “This will also be a great opportunity for parents to receive information about upcoming co-sponsored youth sports leagues and Parks and Recreation summer and fall programs that are offered.”
Hosting the expo takes many staff members and volunteers, ensuring youth participants have a great time, and Parks and Recreation is excited to have many players from the Arizona Western College Matador football team on hand to help run the numerous competitive events.
The AWC football team has supported many youth sports events and has volunteered at the Little People Olympics since 2010.
In addition, these players have a really good understanding of why participating in a sport is so important. It's not simply all about the thrill of competition and winning games, but it's because of the life lessons an athlete learns. It's about working hard to achieve your goals, the dedication, commitment and sacrifice it takes to be successful, and finally, how important it is to work as a team by supporting your fellow players with encouragement and positive reinforcement.
After watching the AWC football player volunteers interact with the youth participants in events for the past two years, it is obvious they enjoy the opportunity to share their successes and encourage the youths to never give up on their dreams and goals.
At the Youth Sports Expo, six city co-sponsored youth sports organizations will give out information about their programs. Parks and Recreation Department will be running a variety of different, fun, competitive activities such as a hot shot basketball competition, football obstacle course, soccer agility drills, and older youth will be able to participate in live archery shooting. Track and field events will include long jump, 100-meter sprint, and softball throw to round out the Youth Sports Expo's activities. Awards will be given to the winners in each event, according to different age categories.
The Youth Sports Expo will be an exciting, fun time for the entire family, bursting with the spirit of competition, as you cheer and encourage your youngster to do their best with positive reinforcement. It will also be a great opportunity for parents to learn about the many different activities and special events that Parks and Recreation will be offering during the 2013 summer.
Pre-registration of $4 is being taken at the Parks and Recreation Department, One City Plaza. On-site registration will be available for $5 beginning at 8 a.m. For more information, visit www.YumaAz.gov or call 373-5243. Like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on future Parks and Recreation programs and special events.
Oscar Chavez is the recreation program supervisor for the city of Yuma Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at Oscar.Chavez@yumaaz.gov.