By Vanessa Mosharaf
(FRISCO, Texas) — Smiles were abundant on the playing fields at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco as 72 children from Buckner community programs learned basketball drills, scrimmaged on the soccer field, and threw footballs during a sports camp led by Legacy high school students and coaches.
This summer marked the first time for Legacy to hold a sports camp specifically for inner-city community programs.
“We do sports camps every summer for kids in our own community,” said Coach Andrew Embry, athletic director for Legacy. “Now we are branching out. It’s a great opportunity to reach outside of this community to meet the kids’ needs, as well as learn from the kids we’re teaching.”
“Seeing them having fun with smiles on their faces has been the most rewarding part of this camp,” Embry said.
Legacy was connected with Buckner through Jenny Allison, whose family had volunteered at Wynnewood and saw a great opportunity to do something more.
“This is something we want to do on an annual basis,” Allison said. “We loved doing it and the kids love to come.”
Kateria Fields, 12, said the camp was, “the best thing she’s done all summer.” Fields, who runs track and plays basketball for her middle school, will now add soccer to her list of sports to try.
New experiences provided the children with much-needed refreshment from the boredom of an often stagnant lifestyle, said Johnny Flowers, site coordinator at Wynnewood.
“By getting out of the community, we begin to give the children hope because they get to see something better than they see every day,” Flowers said.
Nathanal Mattay, 16, said he loves that the camps provide him the opportunity to work with children, especially ones outside his community.
“These kids deserve more attention, because they don’t normally get it,” Mattay said.
Tired and drench in sweat, the children gathered on the bleachers as basketball coach Robert Kirkesey wrapped up the first day with some highlights of what they learned, a group prayer and a camp cheer.
From the two-day camp, Flowers said the children took away sporting techniques, a water bottle and a t-shirt and few hours outside the walls of their normal life. But most importantly, he said, they took inspiration of “something better to work hard for.”
“What makes opportunities like this possible is the support of donors that allow us to go places and do things we wouldn’t normally be able to do. We are so grateful to them.”
For more information on volunteering at Buckner community programs, contact Buckner Volunteer Coordinator Magen Bunyard at 214-321-4534 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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