Kids Score Big as Sports Role Models Team Up With Salvation Army

Friday, June 11, 2010

If you’ve ever played on a sports team or been involved in athletic activities, you understand what a positive role sports play in healthy physical, emotional, and social development. Plus, being active is fun!

Recreational activities are an important part of The Salvation Army’s mission in serving others and provide wonderful opportunities to support and build up youth and communities as a whole. With summer just around the corner, The Salvation Army and several professional sports role models have been busy making sure kids have a chance to get active and play! Here are just a few examples taking place right now across the country:

Tomorrow (June 12) in Durham, NC, NFL quarterback David Garrard will host his second annual Air It Out Football & Cheer Camp. Garrard’s foundation has enabled children from The Salvation Army to attend at no charge! In addition to Garrard, several NFL players and college cheerleaders will be personally facilitating the camp.

Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones

Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones and The Salvation Army each pledged $25,000 to the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK during an MVP Weekend camp for local children, which included a “Sound Mind, Sound Body” football camp for high school players. Participating campers even got personal playing tips from Jones, as well as New Orleans Saints wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Robert Meachem.

The United Football League (UFL) Nighthawks in Omaha, NE donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army Kroc Center to establish two mentoring programs for local children. Through the Mini-Hawk program, Nighthawk players will have the opportunity to mentor children ages 12 and under. Through a second program geared at older kids, teenagers will have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the Nighthawks team.

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Also, players from the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Commissioner David Stern kicked off the new NBA Cares Learn & Play Center at The Salvation Army Los Angeles Red Shield Youth & Community Center. The Lakers played with and encouraged the kids at the opening event. The Center, newly furnished with books and computers, will provide a great place youth to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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NBA Legends Join with Salvation Army to Offer Youth Fitness Programs

Friday, April 16, 2010

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) our nation’s childhood obesity rate has more than tripled in the last 30 years, yet many schools are eliminating or reducing recess, and it’s reported that almost 1 in 4 high schoolers (grades 9-12) do not engage in physical activity during their free time.

The Salvation Army of Atlanta is working to counter this problem by providing kids with exciting opportunities to get active! This past month they held the All Star Youth Basketball Workshop at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center where children not only had the chance to hit the courts, but they also learned great skills and techniques from pro basketball legends!

Ikenna Ubaka, Program Manager for the Center, said they collaborated with the Atlanta Chapter of The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) and INNER GOOD HEALTH & FITNESS INC. to offer two weeks of fitness sessions and basketball skills clinics for 6 and 7 grade youth.

Local boys and girls were able to learn firsthand from INNER GOOD fitness instructors, The Atlanta Battlecats (Women’s Basketball Team), and NBA Legends from the Atlanta Chapter of NBRPA. The sessions concluded with the Center’s Annual Julius “Dr. J” Biddy Ball Tournament with NBA Hall of Famer Julius Erving.

Dr. J himself grew up playing basketball at The Salvation Army in Hempstead, New York and continues to support the Hempstead and Atlanta’s youth teams.

Other NBA legends involved with the event included Cory Blackwell, Vincent Askew, and Duane Causwell.

The Salvation Army Youth Recreational and Character Building Programs strive to meet the increasing challenges of Metro Atlanta youth by providing the essential recreational, social, educational, and social development tools they need to live happier and healthier lives. To find out more about The Salvation Army’s Atlanta youth programs visit www.salvationarmyatlanta.org.

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