NWA help­ing youth stay ac­tive

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - OUT & ABOUT - By Sean Laughlin NWA Demo­crat- Gazette

In the large pro­fes­sional leagues such as Ma­jor League Base­ball, the Na­tional Foot­ball League and the Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, they have pro­grams to help keep the love and pas­sion for their re­spected sports and pass that love down to the next gen­er­a­tion, while also in­flu­enc­ing a pos­i­tive out­look on be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive.

In North­west Arkansas there are mul­ti­ple or­ga­ni­za­tions that are try­ing to in­flu­ence our lo­cal kids to be ac­tive and par­tic­i­pate in sports to learn life les­sons.

In Fayet­teville, two of those or­ga­ni­za­tions are the City of Fayet­teville and Boys and Girls Club of Fayet­teville.

“For youth sports we have soc­cer for boys and girls, we have base­ball, soft­ball for girls, ul­ti­mate fris­bee youth leagues which are all youth. Then, we have adult soft­ball leagues that play year round,” Con­nie Ed­mond of Fayet­teville Parks and Recre­ation said. Sum­mer camps and sports camps are very pop­u­lar with the kids and of­fered through the Parks and Recre­ation Depart­ment. Sports camps in­volve Soc­cer and Ten­nis Camp. “We have what we call an Out­door Ad­ven­ture Camp and its of­fered four times each sum­mer. Kids up to 12 years old en­joy a wide va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties; kayak, ca­noe, bike, disc golf and ul­ti­mate fris­bee at Lake Fayet­teville,” Ed­mond said. Other camps in­clude Camp Wil­son, held at Wil­son Park, of­fer­ing kick­ball, vol­ley­ball, ten­nis, four square, swim­ming, danc­ing and more ac­tiv­i­ties. The kids re­ally en­joy their time and all the var­i­ous forms of en­ter­tain­ment of­fered dur­ing the two ses­sions at sum­mers’ end.

Bas­ket­ball and foot­ball are two of the sports played at the Boys and Girls Club of Fayet­teville. Youth sports are very im­por­tant for chil­dren, it helps them de­velop so­cial skills, win­ning and los­ing and the gen­eral con­cept of com­pe­ti­tion while keep­ing them ac­tive. There is also a Boys and Girls Club of Benton County, where kids can par­tic­i­pate in bas­ket­ball, foot­ball and vol­ley­ball.

The City of Ben­tonville has recre­ational sports for their youth. Th­ese sports in­clude ice skat­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, swim­ming, ten­nis, soc­cer, soft­ball, base­ball, vol­ley­ball and fenc­ing.

An­other pro­gram in North­west Arkansas is ‘ The First Tee’ or­ga­ni­za­tion. The in­ter­na­tional youth pro­gram aims to in­tro­duce golf to young peo­ple, as well as teach­ing val­ues of in­tegrity, re­spect and per­se­ver­ance.

The First Tee of North­west Arkansas of­fers pro­grams at two lo­ca­tions in North­west Arkansas. The First Tee Learn­ing Cen­ter in Low­ell which is the main site, as well as in Bella Vista at the Tan­yard Creek Driv­ing Range and Brit­tany Golf Course fa­cil­ity.

First Tee pro­grams of­fer seven monthly ses­sions, from April to Oc­to­ber with four classes; one class each week. Pro­grams are sep­a­rated into age groups: PLAYer is 7-8 yearolds, PAR 9-11 year-olds, and PAR 12-18 year-olds. Girls only classes are also avail­able in each age group in­clud­ing a spe­cial ‘Girls on Course’ pro­gram for girls 11-17, made up of five spe­cial pro­grams.

Along with the or­ga­nized sports ac­tiv­i­ties, there are also many op­por­tu­ni­ties for fun fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment for all ages.

Skat­ing at Great Day Skate Place (Benton-

ville) and Starlight Skatium (Fayet­teville). Bowl­ing at Spring­dale Bowl­ing Cen­ter, Com­mu­nity Bowl (Siloam Springs), Rogers Bowl­ing Cen­ter, Fast Lane En­ter­tain­ment (Low­ell), and Ozark Bowl­ing (Fayet­teville).

In Eureka Springs the Ozark Moun­tain Zi­pline and Pig Trail Kart and Golf. Fayet­teville has Arka­dia Retro­cade (Ar­cade), Mod­ern Mis­sion (Laser Tag), Ga­tor Golf, La Casa Pollo (Rock Climb­ing) and Loko­mo­tion Fun Park. Low­ell of­fers Golf Moun­tain which has 36 minia­ture golf holes. In Rogers, Rogers Aquat­ics Cen­ter, and High Rise Ex­treme Air Sports (Tram­po­line Park). Siloam Springs has the Ozark Climb­ing Gym which has in­cred­i­ble rock climb­ing. Then, Ben­tonville has the Amazeum that is a great hands-on mu­seum for all mem­bers of the fam­ily to en­joy.

Each year the var­i­ous cities and or­ga­ni­za­tions add more pro­grams to keep kids ac­tive and to fight child­hood obe­sity as well as help young peo­ple find new pas­sions. North­west Arkansas has so many pro­grams to en­cour­age ac­tive, healthy liv­ing.

For more pro­gram in­for­ma­tion, go to th­ese web­sites. Fayet­teville: http://www. fayet­tevillekids.org/, http://www.fayet­tevil­lear. gov/ 1192/ Recre­ation- Pro­grams. Ben­tonville: http://www.ben­tonvil­lear. com/ de­part­ments/ parks- and- recre­ation, https://bgcben­ton­county.org/. North­west Arkansas: http://www.the­first­teenorth­wes­t­arkansas.

For out­door ac­tiv­i­ties in North­west Arkansas, please see The North­west Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette’s new web­site, getoutintheozarks.

THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB or Fayet­teville and Benton County both have youth foot­ball for kids to play.

MANY TEN­NIS and other sports camps are put on through­out the sum­mer by dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions.

THE FIRST TEE of North­west Arkansas is a re­mark­able pro­gram to in­tro­duce kids to the game of golf.

For in­for­ma­tion on sign­ing up for youth base­ball, go to ei­ther the City of Fayet­teville or City of Ben­tonville’s web­site.

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