Saturday, February 16, 2013
Growing up I wasn't active in sports. I don't know if it was because I'm a girl or there weren't many programs around in my neighborhood. I was never pushed to be athletic. I definitely think that hindered me because I hate physical activity now as an adult. My husband is the total opposite. He was always involved in some sort of sport. Even now he's part of a basketball league. We have decided that we want our son to be just as athletic. It's not only so he can learn about the game but there are so many factors that are involved in our decision making.
For one, being active keeps you just that, ACTIVE. I believe that once you are accustomed to always playing and moving around you will bring that into your adult life. You don't have to call it exercise because that word is a turn off for many, especially me. But maintaining an active lifestyle will lead to a healthier life.
Secondly, being a member on a team fosters sportsmanship and discipline. Having the responsibility of others while you play gives you the mind set that you have to be responsible for your actions. There's no fooling around unless you want to deal with the consequences.
Thirdly, it keeps the kids off the streets. Growing up in Spanish Harlem my friends & I were able to hang out and just be kids. We didn't have to worry about getting into a fight & wondering if you will get shot/stabbed. The children today have A LOT more to fear. Keeping them busy will help keep them off the streets or hanging out with the wrong people.
I've been asked about the sports programs that Andre is involved in by many parents. I wanted to share this information with everyone. These are successfully run programs in East/West Harlem neighborhoods. They are low cost if any. Andre has been involved with most for about 2 or more years. We highly appreciate what they have given Andre thus far. Not only skills in the games, but friendships and the respect for his teammates and the game.
FC Harlem Lions - Soccer
This soccer program has a springs skills program that is currently open for registration. You can register online & mail in payment. They play in Riverbank State park in the spring. For the fall program they use the field on 138th & Amsterdam, across City College. Cost is about $50-$80
NYC Bombsquad - Basketball
Andre is currently in their winter skills program which ends today. He's enhanced his knowledge and skills during these past 10 weeks. Their program generally runs in the summer for 15 weeks. They use the outdoor basketball courts on 99th Street & 3rd Avenue. Each child receives a trophy about 3 ft tall. Besides learning skills, they play scrimmages and have a competition on the last day. Andre won 2nd place for Speed Dribbling last summer (see pic above) Cost is about $100.
Harlem RBI - Baseball
This is a FREE Saturday summer program that just opened registration yesterday. Go with a copy of your child's birth certificate and fill out the short application there to guarantee a spot. They fill very quickly since they are free and well known in the neighborhood. The office location is on 102nd & 1st Ave by the Metro North buildings. They have their own field on 102nd & 1st Avenue or they use the one on 96th Street. Kids get a free uniform as well as a trophy on the last day with a huge family BBQ.
I hope you will look into these programs. If you have any others that you would like me to share please let me know. I am always looking! I hope to see you on one or all of these fields this summer!