NWA helping youth stay active
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.