Moresports Personality Profiles
A Coalition and Leap of Fast-Big-Cats and a Pride of Parents
Dion, William and Yutah are friends who have known each other since they were in their terrible twos. Today, they are confident, active, and social seven-year-olds who enroll in various MoreSports programs in the English Bay Hub. They and their parents are grooving on being a part of it all.
Yutah, the entertainer of the three boys, has been with MoreSports for "a of couple years," beginning in the soccer program and now playing in the basketball program as well.
It all began for him when he brought a flyer home from school. "He was interested," says Mariko, Yutah's mom, "and all of his friends in the class talked about it and he wanted to join." She says, "He was not that coordinated in the beginning." But, today she calls him "fast-footed."
Yutah says he "can score in the (soccer) nets easier with his feet," and in basketball he leans toward "I think defending the net. I try to steal the ball." From his grin it's obvious the soft-spoken (in this interview anyway) Yutah gets a real charge out of that.
"His team was not focused at first," his mom continues. "It was hard for them to get the concept to get the ball in the basket."
Yutah's dad, Randy, agrees: "The beginning was a little chaotic, but now they're focused and know what to do. They enjoy the fun atmosphere while also learning specific skills and rules of the sports, and since the general spirit is non-competitive every child gets to be a winner, regardless of individual skill level."
That's really the heart of program says MoreSports coordinator Dick Woldring: "It's about reducing barriers for kids who don't usually play sports because of cost, gender, cultural issues, transportation, or fear of the competitiveness in some organized sports."
"We couldn't accomplish those goals without supportive families, our volunteers, community partners and corporate sponsors, so we really appreciate everyone's participation in creating a community of winners," he says.
"The low cost makes sports very affordable for families," says Mariko.
"And, for those who can't afford to pay anything the costs are absorbed by the program," Woldring adds. "It means that we are a truly inclusive program."
Yutah's parents say the three boys have become more confident as they've gained new skills, have learned to interact with other kids of different backgrounds and levels of ability, and that MoreSports benefits families as a whole: "Kids' siblings and parents are more likely to play these sports with them on weekends and holidays," Randy notes.
And, the boys know the programs have benefited them since they have some advice for kids not yet involved in MoreSports programs.
Yutah says, "Kids should come and play and have fun," and if they're a little apprehensive "they shouldn't worry and ask one of their friends to come and join too."
Dion, a serious chap who is a "good skater," says "new kids will find out that they will score goals, have fun, and find out they're playing better, and make more friends." He says he's made a "105" friends among his MoreSports colleagues.
William, the more academic of the three, couldn't wait to return to his Bingo game but took the time out to report: "It's fun, they will get better at lots of sports, and it teaches them how to play isn't about winning the game; it's about having fun."
One gets the idea that these boys are Ambassadors of Fun. One also gets the idea that Yutah's parents are Ambassadors of MoreSports.
Randy can't say enough about what the program has done for the kids and families involved in MoreSports.
"Parents who come and watch their own kids play or even just to pick them up after a session have a chance to chat and get to know each other better," he says. "And, at the big events like the soccer jam or the basketball event they meet again outside their own neighbourhood. This makes us realize that we are part of a community."
Yutah's parents say MoreSports coaches are "positive, well-organized, and project a wonderful atmosphere over their groups," and the three boys " immensely enjoy the soccer and basketball programs." Indeed.
That's why the boys see themselves as fast-big-cats. Yutah and Dion say they run like cheetahs, and William says he sprints like a leopard.
Funny thing about those fast-big-cats: a group of cheetahs is called a coalition, and a group of leopards is called a leap. There is poetry in those characterizations when they're extended through the boys to MoreSports itself.
A coalition of families, partners, sponsors and volunteers make MoreSports and its programs possible. Its teams are coalitions of coaches and kids pulling together in the direction of fun. With those principles in action MoreSports kids are learning the spirit and worth of bringing fun to a challenge and are learning to lead through openness, participation, and cooperation.
A Pride of Parents says that's a big leap toward building stronger kids and communities. And, that's a win for us all.