Beaufort youth sports league defies ‘win-at-all-cost’ mentality

In an era of sports when trash talking, win-at-all-cost mentalities and fights on the field seem to be the norm, it’s no wonder that 70 percent of U.S. children playing organized sports will quit by age 13 and never play again.Beaufort kids and families, believing that sports can be a positive experience, are participating in an unconventional youth sports league which teaches that the process of competition is just as important as the outcome.

For more than three years Cornerstone Christian Church has hosted sports leagues through Upward Sports—the world’s largest Christian sports league for children—coaching and mentoring more than 500 area kids. The church offers three Upward Sports: Flag Football, Cheerleading and Soccer.

“Kids seem to really grow—both as athletes and friends—in an environment that focuses on skills, sportsmanship, teamwork and integrity while having fun. It’s been exciting seeing families from several neighborhoods come together for the first time. One football team can often represent more than five schools. This football program is building friendships and community,” said Bryan Gates, League Director.

Focusing on healthy competition and positive sports environments that build strong self-confidence, Upward Sports equips churches with everything needed to run a competitive but fun, 12-week sports program for children K-6 grade. Each year, more than 1 million people play, coach, referee or volunteer in Upward Sports Leagues.

To avoid player and parent burn out, Upward Sports limits time commitments to one practice and one game per week. Other distinctive aspects of Upward Sports Leagues include:

• Unique substitution system designed to provide every child equal playing time, competing against an equally matched opponent

• Competitive games with strict adherence to a proprietary drafting system that balances talent on each team

• Supportive coaches that bring out “the winner” in every child regardless of the game’s score

Registration is open now through February 25, 2012 for Spring Flag Football and Cheerleading. The cost is $55 for Flag Football and $58 for Cheerleading. Flag Football is open to girls and boys.  Late fees apply if you register after Feb. 25. The fee includes a uniform for the chosen sport. Each child must attend one evaluation day in order for the registration to be complete.  Evaluations will be held at Cornerstone Christian Church 2301 First Boulevard in Beaufort. The Evaluation times are as follows:

• Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

• Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please come anytime during those hours, and make sure your child is wearing athletic shoes. Allow 20 min. per player to complete the evaluation. Practices begin the week on March 20 and the league will conclude on June 2. Please register early at www.beaufortscornerstone.org. For more information about Upward Sports visit www.upward.org.

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