Login to Claremont COURIER

Claremont kids explore world of sports

The start of warm weather brings spring and summer breaks, and with them comes the dilemma of keeping children active and entertained in their time off of schools.

The city of Claremont and Pacific Athletic Center offered a solution to this problem over spring brink with the victory training sports camp; a four-day athletic camp that gives children a chance to try a variety of sports.

The camp runs again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays during summer break, costing $125 for Claremont residents and $130 for nonresidents. The group, ranging from ages five to 14, are exposed to eight different sports—volleyball, baseball, futsal (a form of indoor soccer), track, flag football, basketball, soccer and beach volleyball. Registration can be done in person or on the website for the athletic center: pacclaremont.com.

A large part of the program is improving technique. When the kids attempt to be the fastest as they complete exercises, Trainer B.B. Hudson can be heard saying “Do it right” or “It’s not a race.”

He teaches the participants that doing the activity correctly is far more important than being the first one across the field. When the children line up in rows to stretch, Mr. Hudson and trainer Delaney Lynch walk through and give individual feedback to improve each individual’s posture.

Mr. Hudson says that discipline is the most important thing that they are teaching at the camp.

“Kids don’t play anymore,” he says. “We are teaching kids how to have a healthy lifestyle. They are learning to play and have fun.”

Both trainers have plenty of experience with sports and athletic training. Mr. Hudson was a part of the San Francisco 49ers developmental team and trains some of the professional athletes that attend the gym. Ms. Lynch played volleyball for the University of La Verne, and is a coach at the center as well as helping run the camp.

In addition to lifestyle improvement, the variety of sports also helps with muscle development, said Bob Miller, owner of Pacific Athletic Center.

“You’ll come back later and say ‘they’ve grown two inches!’ but they haven’t. They’ve really just improved their posture.”

He believes that when someone plays one sport too much, they burn out.

“There are girls that just play volleyball, they go from club straight to summer league. By the end of the season, so many of them have injuries from all the jumping. You need to play other sports, like track, to work the other muscles.”

The multitude of sports goes over well with the kids too. Eleven year-old Fabricio Ore Gomez plays little league baseball, but his favorite part of the camp is that he can play so many sports, not just one. The same goes for 12 year-old Frida Rivera, who likes to dance. She says that even though they do not learn dance at this camp, all the activities she is practicing help her with her dancing.

The most popular aspect of the camp amongst the kids, however, is all the fun. Frida’s little brother, nine-year-old Troy, says that his favorite part is that he can, “hang-out with [his] friends and have fun.” All around are smiling, happy faces whose endless energy is being put to good use as they learn new exercises and try new sports.

In addition to the camp from Pacific Athletic Center, “Camp Claremont” will be held this summer at Cahuilla Park at the corner of Scripps Drive and Indian Hill Boulevard. The city program runs Mondays through Fridays from June 17 to August 9. Participants must be Claremont residents or attend a Claremont school. Parents must register in person at Alexander Hughes Community Center at 1700 Danbury Rd and should be able to prove Claremont residency or enrollment in a Claremont school.

Early registration starts Saturday, May 11, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is a one-time $15 registration fee, and each week costs $50 per child. For any middle or high school students who would like to help out, Camp Claremont also has a volunteer program for seventh through 12th graders. Teens can help lead activities under supervision of the city of Claremont human services staff.

For information about how to enroll or become involved in Camp Claremont, visit the “youth programs” tab on the city website: ci.claremont.ca.us, call (909) 399-5490 or inquire at the Hughes Center at 1700 Danbury Rd.

For additional information on Victory Training Sports Camp, visit pacclaremont.com, call (909) 399-3359 or ask in person at the Pacific Athletic Center at 1599 Monte Vista Ave.

—Eleanor Corbin