News: Sports camps teach children sportsmanship, fundamentals
Story by Lance Cpl. Kenneth Trotter
IWAKUNI, Japan - Marine Corps Community Services hosted a three-day basketball camp in the IronWorks Gym sports courts here June 27-29.
The camp is one of the many MCCS Iwakuni Command Summer Camps, which are being offered throughout the summer for station residents’ children.
“We’re not just trying to teach children about sports, but also to give them an opportunity to get out of the house, away from the video games for a bit, just come out here and have a good time,” said John R. Baltazar III, MCCS youth coordinator.
The children spent much of the morning with the coaches focusing on the fundamentals of basketball. They worked through layups, jump shots, zone/man-to-man defense, boxing out and crossover drills for several hours before continuing on with a short scrimmage game.
The coaches took approximately 45 minutes at each station teaching the children many of the necessities of the game.
Codie E. Hernandez, a 12-year-old station resident, signed up for the camp to learn pointers and tips from the coaches.
“[The coaches] taught little tricks to help me improve like performing a fake out,” said Hernandez.
At this point in the children’s development of sports, the children are more impressionable to picking up and retaining an understanding of the game, said Camille N. Peet, an MCCS commands sports camp coach and former collegiate basketball player.
“It really does make a difference with kids this age,” said Peet. “They’re still at this age where it’s more accessible for them and not so set in their ways yet. After that, it gets harder for them to grasp.”
The camps hold a dual purpose. On one end, they serve to get children out of the house, learn sports and sportsmanship. On the other, it provides an opportunity for Marines to get out and volunteer in the community, exposing them to children their own age and how to interact with them.
Volunteers are continuously sought out to help during the summer months. Those who wish to come out and help are not required to have a deep, extensive knowledge to take part in the camp.
“You don’t have to be an expert,” said Baltazar. “Just come out and see what this is all about.”
The dodgeball camp took place from June 30-July 1. Soccer camp is
scheduled to start July 12-15. There is also a bowling and volleyball camp scheduled to take place August 1-5. Children ages 7-15 are encouraged to take part in the camps.
Fifteen dollars is required to participate in all the camps except for
soccer. The price for soccer camp is $30. The camps are Monday-Friday from 8-11:30 a.m. Each one of these distinctive camps can also serve as a refresher or preliminary start into a new sport such as soccer.
The soccer camp is a prelude to the youth soccer season, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 17-Oct. 29. The camp will have the Southern Californian Seahorses, a professional soccer team based out of La Mirada Calif., which performs motivational-speaking tours throughout Asia.
For more information about the camps during the summer, contact 253-3239 at the youth sports office at the IronWorks Gym here.