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Rockwall YMCA: ‘Not just sports, but sportsmanship’

(ROCKWALL, TX – December 4, 2017) Winter sports season at the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA gets underway this week as the Little Ballers and Youth Basketball League begin practice at various Rockwall ISD facilities. In January, these 836 young athletes will be shooting hoops on brand new wood flooring that is currently being installed in the Y’s gymnasium – part of ongoing renovations that include updates to the Y’s swimming pool and deck, racquetball court, aerobics room, and spin room.

This comes on the heels of the Y’s hugely successful fall sports season which welcomed 818 small fry and youth soccer players, 127 flag football players, 175 volleyball players and 14 cheerleaders – exceeding last year’s youth sports participation and giving record numbers of local kids the opportunity to experience sportsmanship in a fun, nurturing environment.

“Our philosophy is to put the child first and the sport second,” said Bill Cadman, sports director at the Rockwall YMCA. “We want children to have a safe environment to play and meet new friends while learning teamwork and technique.”

Cadman added that the Y has seen growth in all areas of youth sports. “This past fall, we expanded our youth sports programs to include children in 7th grade. Unlike most junior high sports and competitive rec leagues that require tryouts, at the YMCA everyone plays. This means that all 7th graders, regardless of skill level, are now experiencing what it’s like to be on a team as they progress their skills, develop character, and make new friends.”

The Rock Stars, 5th through 7th grade division champs.

The Leopards, 2nd through 4th grade division champs.

Creating Champions on the Volleyball Court
The Y’s fall volleyball championships concluded with the Leopards taking the title in the 2nd through 4th grade division, and the Rock Stars winning for the second time in a row in the 5th through 7th grade division. Coach Brandon Ashcraft and the Rock Stars have played together since the girls were in fourth grade, leading them through four consecutive championship games. The team has gone undefeated for the past two seasons, totaling 22 wins in a row. The girls and their volunteer coach are truly an example of sportsmanship, dedication, and teamwork.

“Our coaches are amazing volunteers, serving as positive role models for our players both on and off the court and playing fields,” said Cadman. “It’s not just about the sport; it’s about sportsmanship.”

Technical Training at Soccer Camp
Over Thanksgiving week, the Rockwall Y was also host to an intensive soccer camp that offered high level training in technical and tactical areas of the game. The three-day camp included full-sided matches that gave players the opportunity to apply skills in real game situations.

Fair Play on the Football Field
From pre-K through 7th grade every child that played flag football at the Y this past fall was eligible to catch a pass, carry the ball, and score a touchdown, according to Cadman. He explained that youth football at the Y is a progressive program, with each child guaranteed 25 percent playing time regardless of skill level or practice attendance.

“The focus isn’t on winning no matter what; it’s on providing a safe environment for the young players, promoting positive competition, and allowing kids to enjoy the thrill of the sport,” he said. “Our youth sports philosophy helps families and individuals grow personally, instill values, improve relationships, appreciate diversity, develop leadership skills – and most of all, have fun.”

To learn more, stop by the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA at 1215 N. Goliad St. or contact Bill Cadman at 972-772-9622 or bcadman@ymcadallas.org.

ABOUT THE YMCA
J.E.R. Chilton YMCA at Rockwall is a nonprofit organization strengthening our local community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. More than just a gym, the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA is a full-service recreational center offering a 6,000 sq. ft. fitness floor; indoor pool; personal training; group exercise classes including yoga, PiYo, Zumba, BodyCombat, spin, dance, and more; health and wellness programs; youth sports; Youth & Government and other teen programming; water fitness and swim lessons, Angel Camp for children with special needs; Camp Dakota Summer Day Camp; and Adventure Guides for fathers and their children. The Y’s mission is to put Christian values into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Financial assistance is available.

By Julie Anne Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Photos courtesy of J.E.R. Chilton YMCA.

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