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Upward Basketball grades 3-6 to begin in February

Upward Unlimited, an international non-profit children’s sports organization, offers a break from the norm of daily sports programs and builds leagues that ensure that every child is a winner.

“Giving children the opportunity to learn and grow through participating in games they love is one of the most rewarding aspects of this program,” said Caz McCaslin, founder and president of Upward Unlimited. “The primary focus of Upward is to develop the winner in every child, not just a select few.”

Unlike traditional sports programs, Upward programs are structured so children participate in practices and games play without league standings. Characteristics such as sportsmanship, kindness, and character are valued as winning qualities. Coaches primarily focus on encouraging the children and their families. Teams are arranged in a substitution system where all players are allowed equal playing time and equal opportunity for improvement. For example, in Upward Basketball, organizations are trained to let every child play at least half of the game and an opportunity to be in the starting lineup. To further the “Every Child Is A Winner” philosophy, Upward coaches encourage each player with a game-day star award following each game that builds self-esteem and team spirit. Additionally, instead of focusing on a win/lose strategy, importance is shifted to the attitudes and efforts of each child on the team.

Upward also operates on a one practice, one game a week agenda in an effort to maximize the family schedule, allowing participants to spend more time tending to other family activities. When a new league is formed, Upward provides coaches and volunteers with skills, drills and practice outlines. Coaches are also prepared with guides containing a scripture learning verse and devotions for practices and games. In addition, the referee will lead all sports teams in prayer in the center of the court at the beginning of each game.

About Our Local Upward League:

Sponsored by the Fredericktown High School FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) Chapter. This league is for boys and girls 3-6. Registration forms are available at the Intermediate or Middle School Offices. There will be separate boys and girls teams.

Every student must attend the Upward evaluation on Saturday, January 10 between 9AM and 12PM at the Fredericktown Middle School gym. Deadline for registration is January 17. Practices begin the week of Monday, January 26, 2009. There will be 6 game Saturdays, the First game will be Saturday, February 14. The end of season Award Celebration will be at 6PM, Sunday, March 22, 2009 at Calvary Temple. For more information you may contact Randy Sawyer at 573-783-5731 or Eric Thompson at 573-783-3628.

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