MWR Youth Sports keeps busy through holidays

Youth basketball is just one of many sports that will kick off new seasons in 2018.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

As the holiday season rolls around, it’s not unusual for people to take some time off to enjoy the days leading up to the new year.

While the hectic schedule may keep a few departments from operating at full capacity, the award-winning MWR Youth Sports and Fitness program at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will keep their doors open to ensure the needs of military families at JBPHH.

Winners of the 2017 National Alliance of Youth Sports Award for excellence in youth sports, MWR Youth Sports has something for just about every child, from ages 3 to 18, who wants to participate in the character-building and health benefits of individual or team sports.

With so many activities such as baseball, basketball, flag football, soccer, tennis, gymnastics and various camps and special events already in their fold, MWR Youth Sports continues to blaze the trail in adding and starting up new things to do.

In announcement of their latest program, MWR Youth Sports is currently holding registration from now until January 2018 for their Youth Sports and Fitness Cross Country Running Club.

The easy-to-run, youth-running program called, “Ready, Set, Run,” will be held from Jan. 3 to Aug. 18 and is welcome to participants ages 7 to 18.

According to Youth Sports and Fitness Coorodinator at JBPHH Brittany Bigham, kids will train primarily at Ear-hart Field with an end goal of completing a half-marathon.

“This is something that is athletic, but it’s not a team sport,” Bigham said. “They’ll run on the base-running events. So there will be 5Ks. We’ll encourage them to sign up for the Ford Island 10K and then the ultimate race is the Hickam half-marathon in August.”

Like other startup programs, Bigham said that sports are added after extensive research and surveys have been held throughout Joint Base.

In addition, Bigham said that general conversations with parents and the community also help to make each new endeavor a success.

MWR Youth Sports is so comprehensive in their coverage that even kids as young as 3 years old are included, with a program that is designed just for them.

Covering basic skills such as coordination and introduction, MWR Youth Sports Smart Start program is for kids from ages 3 to 5 and teaches confidence to grow in baseball, soccer, basketball and flag football.

Smart Start is limited to 50 kids, who under the supervision of Youth Sports personnel, work with their parents to set them on the right path.

The next signup for Smart Start is for basketball and is being held from now until Dec. 29. The sessions will run from Jan. 5 to Feb. 9, every Friday from 5 to 6 p.m.

“We break them down into four stations and then we teach the parent the objective of that station and then they teach their youth,” Bigham said. “Then we rotate around through the stations, making sure that they are doing proper form.”

Finding all of the registration dates for sports and special events can be one massive maze for parents to navigate their way around.

However, Bigham said another feature that makes MWR Youth Sports the best in their class is the full web support they receive through www.greatlifehawaii. com.

“The biggest thing is that, with our web site updates, our calendar is on the web site, so that people can see what’s coming up for registration and when,” Bigham said. “That will always keep them aware of what’s going on.”

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Category: Sports