Nineteen kids hit the newly constructed Carlton Physical Activity Centre gym floor to take the first step toward becoming high school athletes on Thursday.
The Carlton Crusaders Summer Sports Camp, which took place from Aug. 18 -21, offered an opportunity for 65 kids from Grade 6 to Grade 9 to learn high school level skills and terminology in volleyball, track and field, soccer and basketball.
The Grade 8-9 group was attentively listening to basketball coach Jenn Ferguson.
“It’s really nice for the kids to get a chance to see what high school coaches expect from them when they get to Carlton and begin to develop those skills,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson, along with other high school coaches and athletes, led the camp sessions. She said the coaches are teaching the kids the skills they would expect at the high school level.
“I think we’ve introduced lots of new terms to them in basketball and volleyball for sure,” Ferguson said. “We’re just trying to give them a bit of insight on what to know within the next four to five years (in order) to compete at higher levels.”
Payton Izsak, 13, plays competitive soccer, volleyball and basketball as well as extracurricular school sports including badminton and track.
“I just like being active all the time, I don’t want to just sit at home and watch TV,” she said. “I always like being out and being with my team.”
If Iszak attends Carlton in Grade 9, she plans to try out for the high school teams.
“If next year I’m coming here, I’m going to take the stuff Jenn taught me and put it toward my tryouts and maybe that’d help me,” she said.
Thirteen-year-old Ben Grassick attended the first summer sports camp last year. Since he plans to go to Carlton Comprehensive High School in Grade 9, he decided to attend the camp again.
“I’m also going to Carlton next year so I might as well see who would be coaching and stuff like that,” Grassick said.
Grassick tried all four sports offered at the camp this year. He plans to take the skills he’s learned at camp and put them towards his extracurricular activities -- soccer and basketball.
“I’ve learned different shooting styles in basketball and how to defend someone when they’re running down the court,” he said. “And in volleyball (I learned) how to block.”
After his second year in a row, Grassick recommends others to attend the camp.
“It’s really great, people should try because they’ll learn more and more every day, whatever (sport) they go into,” he said.