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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Students teach city youth about sports

 
 

Sounds of dribbling basketballs, feet scurrying across a gymnasium floor and the laughter of excited children echoed throughout the Physical Education Activity Program Building on Saturday.
Sports for Kids, a student-run organization dedicated to promoting sports and physical activity among College Station youth, held its largest event of the year, Sports Fest.
With more than 50 children attending, Hillary Webster, a junior health major and Sports Fest executive, said the attendance was one of the highest the organization has ever seen.
“We had a great turnout this year, one of the best, and all of the kids are so excited for the sports,” Webster said.
The organization’s motto, “Because every child deserves a chance to play,” was put into practice with Sports Fest. Children who attended were able to play seven sports across four gyms for free.
Stephanie Phillips, junior psychology major and Sports for Kids intramurals executive, said Sports Fest is effective in exposing children to many different sports.
“It’s a great way to get involved and get children active,” Phillips said. “A bunch of kids don’t get the opportunity to play and try out a bunch of different sports, but with Sports Fest, this is an opportunity to do it for free.”
Lindsay Anderson, junior kinesiology major and Sports Fest executive, said the kids love to play all the different variety of sports.
“I think the crowd favorite has to be gymnastics,” Anderson said. “It’s something for them, and they get to jump on the trampolines and into the foam pit.”
Anderson said she feels it’s important to encourage children to be active, and said Sports Fest is a way to give back to the Bryan-College Station community.
“First of all, I’m a very big advocate for physical activity in general. Any way that I can get kids to get up and move is great,” Anderson said. “I also think it’s neat that we can create events for these kids. A lot of their parents are having to deal with us college kids taking over the town, and this is a way for us to give back to them as well.”
Several of the Sports for Kids members are involved in athletics at A&M as well, including Will Conte, a junior construction science major and member of the gymnastics team.
Conte said he was a gymnastics coach for children in high school.
“I wanted to find a way to continue to be involved,” Conte said.
Conte said Sports Fest is unique because it provides an opportunity for children to choose a sport they wish to pursue in the future.
“I think a lot of these kids don’t have the opportunity to try out a lot of these sports,” Conte said. “This way, they can find one that they like after attending Sports Fest. They can go home, tell their parents what sport they like and sign up.”
Conte said the most important thing is that the children have fun.
“What I love most is that when everyone leaves I can see a lot of smiles,” Conte said.

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