By Marily Floyd
Backyard Sports, a popular, afterschool sports program provided by the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration for K-6th grade students who attend the Lake Lure Classical Academy is completing its 4th successful year. Every Monday afternoon of the school year the kids ride a supervised school bus to Morse Park in the fall for soccer and to the church for winter and spring sports. We grew from 16 kids the first year to an average of over 60 kids each Monday in our second year.
The program includes a variety of sports and activities including soccer, basketball, dodgeball, street hockey, wiffle ball, and games like capture the flag. The church provides healthy snacks and all the equipment for each activity every Monday during the school year, rain or shine, at no cost to the student.
Backyard Sports provides an active and positive sports experience where the kids learn basic skills, teamwork, sportsmanship and build self-confidence while HAVING FUN. Cell phones or other electronics are NOT permitted.
When the kids arrive, they are checked in by our volunteers and given their name tags. They enjoy a snack that includes fresh fruit, yogurt or cheese and chips. After the kids warm up they are divided up into age/skill appropriate groups for some skills practice and games. We usually have several different activities for each group. Towards the end of the school year, we have a field day with lots of fun and crazy events the kids enjoy. Our last day of Backyard Sports is our year-end Celebration coming up soon on May 8th which will provide a bounce slide and snow cones. The kids have a blast.
Our volunteers are AMAZING! They are the heart and soul of Backyard Sports. Some have been with this ministry from our very first year in 2017. They come from our church, the community and some are parents of some of the kids. Each one of them does a great job helping these kids learn sports skills and knowledge, but also important basics like respect, being a good teammate and encouraging each other.
We have a great partnership with LLCA. Dr. Genie Phipps, the Elementary Assistant Principal, said “The excitement that can be felt and heard in the hallways on Mondays speaks to how much our students enjoy attending Backyard Sports.” The parents are thrilled because their kids have fun, are tired and go to bed early on Mondays.
This is truly a ministry that benefits everyone involved:
Students, families, the community, and our church family. We hope you will join us in this wonderful program…Backyard Sports is MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
We are already looking for volunteers to start next fall. No skills required, just the desire to help these kids. It is every Monday of the school year for 3-5pm, however, you do NOT have to be there every Monday. We are happy to have you twice a month, whatever your schedule allows. You will be amazed at the impact you have on these kids and the blessing you receive at the same time.
If you’d like to be a Backyard Sports Volunteer or know someone who would, please contact Marily Floyd at email@example.com