Score goals in the gym, achieve goals in life

Published 7:59 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2011

When kids play sports, they get more than just exercise. Besides being physically healthier, they have higher self-esteem and healthier body image. The benefits of playing sports go far beyond the physical. Kids who play perform better in school, develop better interpersonal skills, and work better in groups. They are more resilient against life’s challenges and less likely to ever abuse drugs or alcohol.

The Y Youth Sports programs, directed by Bainbridge native Jim Holton, maximize the positive effects of playing sports by emphasizing healthy competition, promoting teamwork and respect for peers, regardless of talent levels. At the YMCA, our youth programs focus on individual development while helping young people learn those all important life lessons. Y-Staff and our volunteer coaches strive to instill a positive self-image in each player. Playing time is guaranteed for everyone and you get one weekly night practice and Saturday morning games. Of course, family involvement is always welcomed and encouraged at the YMCA … but like all program participants, adults must also follow our “Code of Conduct” and avoid displays of disrespect toward others.

With signup deadlines and skills assessment day rapidly approaching, on Dec. 10, now is the time for parents to come by the YMCA and sign up your child (ages 6-17) for one of our Youth Basketball Leagues.  Financial assistance is available for all youth programs offered at the “Y.”

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In addition, we have the Kirbo Scholars Program, which will help those that make local honor roll list to have $15 “scholars credit” toward the $35 member fee or $50 non-member registration fee. Each youth participant receives a team shirt, as well as team color photo; and families with more than one child receive a $5 discount with each additional child registered.  Those families with children playing in the same age division will have those children placed on the same team for added convenience at both weeknight practice and Saturday games.

At the YMCA we now have new membership rates with no joining fees, and discounts awarded to all current members at renewal. As you expect, the YMCA provides programs that will make a difference.

Come join us as we celebrate our 25th anniversary year with improved facilities and programs that you would like us to offer. Take a peek at our state-licensed “award winning” child care facilities and consider placement of your child in 2012. Call (229) 243-0508 and join your friends and neighbors today.

• The YMCA Mission — To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

• The YMCA Cause — To strengthen the foundations of our community.

• The YMCA Core Values — Caring…Honesty…Respect…Responsibility.

Mike Haynes is the interim CEO of the Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA. He can be reached at (229) 243-0508.