Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Upward Basketball

I promised I'd come back and post something real today - but I am having a hard time finding inspiration.

So . . . I'm going to give a mini-commercial for Upward Basketball.

Our church is doing this program - and it is an awesome outreach opportunity that teaches children a sport along with GOOD sportsmanship! Parents and children are encouraged to cheer for both teams, and to be supportive of the coaches and the referees. Kindergarten - 2nd grade don't keep score and are not allowed to steal the ball. The players switch out every 6 minutes, so EVERYONE gets a chance to play - and the players are encouraged to work as a team and pass the ball, rather than always just trying to shoot it.

Two of my kids are playing this year and they had their first game on Saturday. It was great fun, which was really the point - the kids are learning but having FUN.

One of the coolest parts of this program is that every practice, the coach has a devotion with the kids and gives them a Bible verse to learn for the next week. At the next practice, if you've learned your verse, you get a green star to Iron on your uniform T-shirt. At every game, stars are given out for Best Defense, Best Offense, Best Sportsmanship, and several other things. (everyone gets a star).

Before each game - they turn down the lights, turn up the music and announce the teams, coaches, and players (making the young kids feel REALLY cool) - then the referees pray with both teams in the middle of the court. It is really an awesome experience, and I'm looking forward to many more years of being involved in this program.

If you love kids, and sports - and you don't have a program like this in your area - I suggest you go to the Upward website, and check it out! Maybe you could start an Upward Sports Program in your area.

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